Capitals 2, Wild 3 OT/SO
The story could have been about Alex Semin’s fourth straight game with a goal or Dainius Zubrus’ strong return after recovering from surgery or Brian Sutherby’s heroics on the penalty kill. But it was Brent Johnson’s spectacular performance that kept the game close and allowed the Capitals to come out of St. Paul with a point.
Johnson stopped 36 shots and made some amazing saves late in the third to keep the Wild at bay until the shootout. His quick reaction to a couple of Minnesota shots that looked like goals kept Wild players shaking their heads and the Caps scrambling to cover guys.
Penalties kept the Capitals from gaining any rhythm and it was two power play goals that got them in trouble. But the situation could have been much worse if not for some great plays on the penalty kill by Sutherby and Brian Potheir.
The Caps power-play looked better two as the Caps seemed to trust their blue liners with the puck. I saw a lot more passes to the defenders which allowed more movement low by the forwards.
Overall Grade: B-
Caps lose their first shoot out of the season. Alex Ovechkin, Semin and Richard Zednik all were stoned by Manny Fernandez. Mikko Koivu scored the only goal on a nice deke around Johnson to score the only goal in the shoot out. Wash Post gets the story right 99.999% of the time.
Caps must play a better all around game on Saturday when they face division rivals Atlanta that look really good early this season. Thankfully the Caps will be at the phone booth for the first of eight games versus the Thrashers.
It’s also Ovechkin coin night. How much do you want to bet that half the season ticket holders try to use it in the Powerade machines on the main concourse? I know I am going to give it a try. I thought this coin was good for one beer? No. Oh okay.