Sunday, January 06, 2008

Caps Perfect In Canada

Capitals 5, Canadians 4 OT
Scoresheet - Wash Post

Mike Green didn't look so hot after being deked out of his gear by Andrei Kostitsyn and the Canadians took a 2-0 lead. But Green made amends for his momentary lapse of defensive savvy by using some offense. Just 1:27 into overtime Green just got enough of a Micheal Nylander pass to beat rookie sensation Carey Price. And all is right with the world again.

What looked like a defensive challenge much like the Bruin game from two nights ago changed with Alex Ovechkin's first goal at Bell Centre. Ovie played one of the most physical games I have witnessed yet and worthy of the game's first star. His first goal was a quick goal from the face off, the second was a screened slot shot after Ovie sprang from the penalty box for his 31st and 32nd goals of the season. Also scoring for the Caps were Nick Backstrom (who has been mounting points of late), Boyd Gordon and Green's overtime tally.

The Caps and Habs exchanged power play goals but for the most part the Caps were able to snuff the NHL's best power play team. The Caps were able to solve their scoring quandary they experienced in Boston to come back from two goals down.

The Caps were also hurting with Tom Poti, Brian Potheir, Alex Semin and Chris Clark out of the line up. Steven Eminger got his 3rd start of the season and he looked a little rusty. With injuries mounting, the Caps face a tougher challenge to gain points to move up the leader board.

Viktor Kozlov, who normally plays well against the Canadians, was a -2 in this game. He was the only player with a -2 rating for either team. In fact Kozlov hasn't been living up to his billing. He is having a hard time of replicating his 51 point performance from a season ago. While he has 20 assists, he is no where near being a 25 goal scorer for the Capitals with only 4 goals in the first half of the season.

The Caps come back home for a 5 game homestand. It's an opportunity for the Capitals to pick up some standing points. It won't be easy though as the Capitals will face the Avalanche next, Philly, Ottawa, Edmonton and Florida. The Capitals, with their win and 39 points, have pulled to within two points of both Atlanta and Florida who both have 41 points. The Caps have an opportunity to not only leap frog two teams ahead of them but also put Division-leading Carolina within range. If the Caps can pick up 8 points through their 5 games at the phone booth, the Capitals are right back in the hunt.

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