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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Capitals 6, Penguins 3

On another night when the Capitals seemingly had nothing to play for, they sure played well against a team that had quite a bit to play for.  The Pittsburgh Penguins were playing one of their last games in their old arena and Sidney Crosby was turbocharged with 3 points to reach 100 for the season.  They kept turning pucks over and their goalie couldn't get the job done, and even though the referees only called one penalty on them, the Capitals made them pay.

Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after allowing the third Capitals goal to Tomas Fleischmann a mere 21 seconds after Crosby scored.  Flash keeps improving on his career year with his 23rd goal.  Allowing an Alexander Semin goal on a breakaway is forgivable, seeing as Semin just set a new career high with his 39th goal, but also letting in a soft goal to Mike Knuble was too much for "Disco" Dan Byslma, even if Knuble just passed his previous season's total with his 28th on the year.  Fleury gave way to a familiar face in Brent Johnson and swung his stick in the tunnel in frustration.  Johnson played 96 games for the Capitals between the end of the lockout and the end of last season.  Already behind 3-1, the Penguins scored two more goals to keep the game close but could never quite catch up, with the score progressing 3-2, 4-2, 4-3, 5-3 and then an Alexander Ovechkin empty net goal to seal the deal with less than a second on the clock.

Speaking of Ovechkin, he scored his 47th and 48th goals on the season and hit 106 points to tie Henrik Sedin for the points lead, for about two hours.  Sedin had an assist tonight and now sits atop the league with 107 points.  Ovie's first goal of the night came 4 seconds into the Caps' only powerplay of the night. Perhaps the referees already think it's the playoffs.

-Alexander Semin established a new career high with his 80th point with an assist on the Fleischmann goal.

-#needsmorebradley - He scored the game-winning goal off an assist from Quintin Laing.  I think that says it all.  He also has career highs in goals (10) and points (23).

-Hershey Jay Beagle went 7-3 on faceoffs.  Nicklas Backstrom went 8-5 on his draws, but the rest were terrible.

-Speaking of Backstrom, he had three assists to reach 67 and 98 points, all career highs.  He still remains two points behind Crosby for the #3 spot in the league scoring race.

-Ovechkin scored goals #47 and 48 tonight, which ties him with Crosby who scored #48 tonigh.  Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay has scored 47.

-The Capitals defense played well against a top-5 attack.  Shaone Morrisonn was unfortunate to have another goal go in off some part of his body, but on the other hand, Jeff Schultz had 2 assists and was a +5.

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