Capitals 3, Red Wings 4 OT/SO (1-3)
Scoresheet - Wash Post - Detnews
For a team - with the start of a season they had - to walk into the Joe Lewis Arena and go toe to toe with the Red Wings and get a lead then come from behind to tie late in the third is nothing short of a miracle. The Washington Capitals worked their butts off and escaped with a point from a team that has made other teams look like Squirt level squads with their possession game. Yes, it would have been nice for Olie to stop at least one Red Wing in the shoot out, but the Capitals have no reason to hang their heads at the effort they gave at the Joe.
Alex Ovechkin tied the game at one with a 5-hole blast on the power play in the first for his 24th tally of the year. Jeff Schultz once again scored a clutch goal to give the lead to the Caps late in the first and Alex "it's about time you started scoring" Semin got the clutch goal late in the third to take the game into overtime. Both David Steckel and Ovie had chances to put the Caps ahead. Steckel chance came early in the third where he missed (I mean by mere millimeters) an open net and Ovie had a semi-breakaway in OT, but Dominik Hasek was there with his glove and pad, Ovie just couldn't get it up.
The Red Wings had trouble playing their game in this one, and at times it looked like the Caps were the possession experts. Semin's first couple of periods were a bit ho-hum, but he picked it up in the third getting good hard shots off on Hasek. Shots were even at 30 for both teams which pretty much indicates a well hard fought game against to virtually even teams.
As good as this game was Ted Kulfan gave all three stars to Detroit players. Homer. You have to be kidding me. This guy's out of his mind, all three stars to the Red Wings, did you not just see the Caps come in and almost beat this team? Kulfan, I can clearly state, is an idiot. That was a major injustice to the Capitals in this game.
Now, I am not saying that the Caps were perfect. Olie is still letting in soft goals and was just atrocious in the shoot out, all three Red Wings scored - it wasn't even close. Ovie also didn't play his best game, he was good at points but he did turn the puck over on Detroit's third goal after trying to do a little too much. The Caps were able to overcome those mistakes and it shows their potential if they ever do play a perfect game.
With this one point performance the Caps are no longer last in the Eastern Conference, they are instead tied in last with Atlanta. The Caps have some time to rest and tighten up their game before they take on the Montreal Canadians at the phone booth. Hopefully some of that hard work continues for the Caps. They are starting to see the light from the basement of the Eastern Conference. Now is the time to take that step up and get back into this thing.
Some good quotes from the game:
Mike Babcock - "I was really impressed, I really was. It was a hard battle for us. Not a lot of teams have kept us off-kilter like they did. We didn't show them respect at the start, but we got better, but they made it hard for us." - Detnews.com
Henrik Zetterberg on Ovechkin and Backstrom - "They have a real good future, both of them. They're real mature for their age and they'll be big stars for a long time." - Detnews.com
Olaf Kolzig - "It's nice, but we had a chance to win the game. I just couldn't get it done for the boys in the shootout." - WashingtonPost.com
Shaone Morrisonn - "We got one point out of it, which is better than nothing. But we felt like we could have won it. We had some power plays in the third period and we gave up two goals on the penalty kill. It's tough." - WashingtonPost.com
Bruce Boudreau - "We're not quitting. There is a good chance if we just keep getting two points here, one point there, rise in the standings and then once they start to believe they are a really good team, then good things usually start to happen." - WashingtonPost.com