Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Caps Finish Road Swing With Win

Capitals 4, Flames 2
ScoresheetWash PostCalgary Herald

Olaf Kolzig is on top of his game. The Capital net minder stopped 37 shots from a goal starved Calgary Flames. But the Flames just couldn’t figure him out. Kolzig ties Ken Dryden on the all time wins list with 258 games.

The Caps did a much better job of playing stand-up hockey. Every time the Flames had a rush, the Caps were in their face and stood them up at the neutral zone. It was a great way to end the 4 game western swing. The opened with 2 points and they ended it with 2 points.

Special teams actually worked out how they are supposed to for the Caps. They were able to score a power play goal, and their penalty kill was perfect. The Capitals also were able to get the match-ups they wanted from time to time, which is hard to do on the road; a tribute to the coaches behind the bench running the lines.

Richard Zednik finally got out of his scoring funk scoring 2 goals, one a stuffer and another on a break away (where he ran head long into Miikka Kiprusoff knocking him backward into the net). Dainius Zubrus also scored 2 goals.

Although Alex Ovechkin didn’t score, his presence was felt with some pretty big hits. It hurt just watching some of the hits he gave out in this game. He had two assists on the night.

Overall Grade: B+

The Caps rebound from a couple of soft games versus good teams in Edmonton and Vancouver. It’s nice to see this team roar back and play a solid road game. Caps do need to be careful however not to sit back in the new NHL, where scoring comes in bunches.

The overall road trip is mixed however, the Caps started so well. The middle is something they should forget, and winning in Calgary helps that. The Caps did well getting 5 points out of a possible 8.

I can’t really complain much about their penalty kill either which has showed so much improvement from a year ago. The Caps were able to score a power play goal too in 6 of their last 7 games.

The Capitals come back home to face the Thrashers at the phone booth and return to a new practice facility that opens Wednesday in Ballston, VA. Caps must play well against the Thrashers who will be looking to avenge their recent loss in Toronto.

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