Capitals 3, Thrashers 2
Scoresheet – Wash Post - AJC
Andy Sutton is not known for his goal scoring prowess. His offense is as good as brick. When the Thrashers looked as if they were on their way to a come back, the goal was disallowed because of a penalty (that the Thrashers were confounded by because Jiri Novotny lifted Eric Boulton’s stick into his own face) and all seemed lost with the Thrashers down 3-1.
Then Sutton streaked down the ice shorthanded, beating the Caps defenders to get a semi break away and made no mistake putting the puck top shelf on Brent Johnson. The big defender put the pressure on the Caps with that goal. Even I had to give the big guy some props for that goal.
Normally if this scenario played out, the Capitals would fold and lose the game. They did nearly hand the Thrashers the tying goal late, when Milan Jurcina and Brooks Laich sat in the penalty box, prompting a wild six on three that the Caps were somehow able to beat.
Boyd Gordon played one of his best games of late. Even if he hadn’t scored a goal, which he did to tie the game 1-1 in the second, Gordon out-worked the entire Thrashers team. He looked everywhere on the ice. He was even on the slim penalty crew at the end of the game with Shaone Morrisonn and David Steckel (called up from Hershey for this game).
All in all, the Caps played a great two and a half periods against a playoff geared team. Alex Ovechkin took this game personally with two great goals. Johnson also looked good, making some big stops late. Besides the wild second half of the third, the Caps were able to thwart the Thrashers advances like a prom queen saving herself for marriage.
One game to go! Buffalo rounds out the entire season on Saturday. Caps look to end the season with 72 points (they have tied their last year’s point total at 70).
AP Photo/Gregory Smith