Now Blogging at

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Capitals 3, Bruins 2 (OT)

The Capitals won in dramatic fashion on a night they could have let one slip away.  After having already secured the top seed in the league the Caps could have mailed in the final four games; even Mike Green had the night off.  But sensing this might be an opponent they'd see in the first round of the playoffs, they smelled blood and attacked.

The Capitals jumped out to a quick lead, although quick may be too generous of a word.  Nicklas Backstrom took a shot that dribbled through the goalie Tuukka Rask's pads.  When Alex Ovechkin, who had set up the goal with a sublime cross-ice feed, saw the puck trickling toward the goal line, he started the celebration.   The goal came at 7:36 into the game, and the video review took just as long.  It seems likely that if referee Bill McCreary had not emphatically gestured for a goal it would have been disallowed, marking the first time in recent memory he has helped the Capitals.

The Bruins struck back right at the end of the period.  With only a few seconds left, Dave Steckel cleanly lost a draw and the Senators buried it.  The score was tied 1-1 with less than 2 seconds left in the period.  Someone needs to remind Steckel his job is not just to try to win draws:  a defensive zone draw in the final 6 seconds of the period?  You're just trying to not lose it clean, which is what Backstrom did in the final draw of the second period. 

Boston pulled ahead on a great individual play by Patrice Bergeron 8 minutes in to the second period.  He showed why he has some of the best hands in hockey after making Caps goalie Jose Theodore look silly.  He was the one Bruin the Capitals had to worry about leaving alone, and they did.  Soon after, the Caps returned to a more traditional style of hockey and Ovie and Mike Knuble crashed the net, they got a lucky bounce and tied the score with 30 seconds to go in the second period.

The third period had some good action but both teams and both goalies buckled down to take the game to overtime.  Once in overtime, the Bruins, who had been disciplined all game, took their second penalty of the night at the worst time, just 24 seconds into overtime.  The Caps went for it with four forwards on the 4-on-3 powerplay, and they did what they do best.  Ovechkin to Backstrom to Alex Semin to Brooks Laich - goal.. Laich was camped out in front and got a lucky bounce off his body and buried it.  It's a good thing he wasn't at the bakery tonight, he wanted goals, though it would have been hard to eat with that cage on his face.

 Am I back in junior?

-The top line was buzzing all night, but they weren't out there too much, only 18:14 for Ovechkin in preparation for a bigger game tomorrow.  Nonetheless, Backstrom ended with a goal and two assists, Ovie with 2 helpers, and Knuble with a goal and an assist. They had a way of making the super rookie goalie look like a rookie. 

-Backis is moving on up the all-time lists.  He scored his 31st goal and 64th assist for 95 points.  He has three games to hit 100.  Ovie, on the other hand, has 104 and is behind only Henrik Sedin by 2 points now.

-Jose Theodore was occasionally spectacular tonight, and then only because he needed to be.  The Capitals made several mistakes down low and set him up for way too many good scoring chances.  Fortunately the Bruins are fairly incompetent on offense. 

-And as if Wayne Gretzky didn't have enough records, he set another one tonight:
228 Wings...He has all the records


  1. just saw that alzner and beagle were recalled from hershey... will be interesting to see who gets scratched tonight. would like to see carlson and perrault back in the lineup for some speed and energy. flash keeps getting it handed to him in the faceoff circle... i thought that perrault held his own pretty well on the second line at center. maybe put fleischmann back on the third line with belanger and fehr? fourth line stays steckel, bradley, and chimera? where does walker fit in to all of this? i guess it's good to have depth questions....

  2. If Beagle plays, he'll get in on the 4th line. I like the combo of Steckel-Chimera-Bradley, but maybe one of them is sitting out tonight. It doesn't look like Alzner will play, which is a shame. Perreault will get his chance with the Caps next season, in the meantime he'll continue to light it up in Hershey and hopefully work on those faceoffs. As for Flash, I like him on the wing 90% of the time. I would only use him at center in a pinch. Belanger isn't impressing me at all, I'd have rather had Perreault than him, but maybe I'll be proven wrong. With the amount of depth the Caps have there's no need to rush anybody back into the lineup before the playoffs, including Carlson and Green. It's a chance for some of the other guys to get a couple games in before the playoffs, too. Walker is a spare part, he'll get in only every now and then.