Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hurricanes Down-Graded To Light Breeze

Capitals 5, Hurricanes 2

It was only hours before the hockey game Georgetown pulled an upset over #1 Duke, that in the same building the Capitals take down the NHL’s #1 Carolina Hurricanes. And “Upset Saturday” was not just a college basketball cliché, as the Caps down their Southeast Division rivals.

It was a game of firsts too, Brooks Laich’s first goal at the Booth. The first game the Caps have scored an empty-net goal, first time the team has had a 4 game winning streak, and the first time the Hoyas have knocked off a #1 ranked team since the ‘80s. And Pat Sajack (of wheel of fortune fame) was in attendance, what more could you ask for.

The Caps looked like a different team than what the Hurricanes had seen in late October. Even though Alex Ovechkin didn’t score, he got assists 28 and 29. Ovechkin was very involved in many aspects of the game including some rough stuff late in the Second.

It set up some heated hits during the game as Brendan Witt went to hit Rod Brind’Amour. Jesse Boulerice took exception to the hit and went after Witt who wisely took the roughing call and kept his gloves on to draw the double-minor against Boulerice. Brind’Amour later took out Ovechkin with a knee to knee (or toe to toe) hit to extract his own justice leading to some heated scuffles on the ice.

Glen Hanlon told reporters later during the post game interview that Olie Kolzig was throwing up between periods, as he made 31 saves and played solid in net in the final period. Although he did not stop the penalty shot from Erik Cole midway through the third, Kolzig made some remarkable saves when the ‘Canes battled back to within one goal.

Overall Grade: A+

The Caps took their game to the Hurricanes early and may have caught the team, who were going for their 10 straight win, by surprise. The Caps nearly allowed their rivals back into the game, until the ‘Canes had to take more chances to tie the game up and got caught deep. It allowed a three on one the other way with Ovechkin, Chris Clark, and Laich who scored.

Wash Post will give you the inside scoop. The Caps face another struggling team, Boston Bruins Monday night on OLN. The Caps now have more confidence to make a run for more points late in this season.

The Caps have stepped up their play and got 2 points from an elite team. This is a different team than just a couple of weeks ago. This is getting interesting.

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