Saturday, November 11, 2006

Caps Wrangle Rangers

Capitals 3, Rangers 1
ScoresheetWash PostNYDaily

Olaf Kolzig should have posted a shut-out. But stupid Michael Nylander had to score on a late power play with Dainius Zubrus in the penalty box for tripping. It was clear the Rangers were not going to leave the Verizon Center with out a goal, pulling their goaltender with more than two minutes left in the game. The Caps only allowed one, and Alex Ovechkin walks away with the game winner.

The Caps seem to be pretty dangerous after being shut out. They came out with a grudge in the first period out-shooting the Rangers 17 to 5. Not only did the Caps find their offense again, they always had a player in Jaromir Jagr’s face all night. Jagr took his damaged pride and his illegal sticks home only getting off three shots.

Boyd Gordon started the scoring with a great job on the forecheck. It was the epitome of a garbage goal as Gordon never gave up whacking at the puck in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Gordon also posted an assist playing his best game as a Cap.

Overall Grade: B+

As much as I want to give the Caps an A, they are still lacking in one department: the powerless play. The Caps were 0 for 7 with an extra man. It’s one of those things that can be overlooked in a game such as this, but is important for the Caps to start cashing in on the power play.

Matt Pettinger also scored midway through the third. Petty got a jump off the boards to beat a pinching Ranger defenseman, and a 2 on 1 quickly developed with Alex Semin. Petty curled and dragged around the defender and put it 5 hole on Lundqvist. Semin looked at Petty as if to say, “You’re supposed to pass those to me.”

Is it wrong for me to be John Erskin’s biggest fan? I thought he did really well, even getting his mitt in Jagr’s face and messed up his make-up during a scrum. Donald Brashear actually got into a fight (‘bout time), and Shaone Morrisonn did a pretty good job on Jagr keeping him to three shots.

Caps face the Panthers on Monday, and hopefully they can carry this win to Sunrise. Like I have said before, divisional points are so important in the new NHL. If the Caps are serious about making the post season, they have to start beating their rivals.

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