Capitals 2, Avalanche 1
Scoresheet - Wash Post
Bruce Boudreau celebrated his 53rd birthday with a win. It was a lucky bounce that was the game winner and the best gift Boudreau could ask for. The Caps slip past the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 to start their 5 game home-stand with an important win.
Dave Steckel was just looking to put a pass to the front to Quintin Laing on a semi 2 on 1. But a back checking Avalanche defender ended up tipping the pass past Jose Theodore. It's Steckel's fourth goal of the season and turned out to be a game winner in a very defensive game. Donald Brashear broke the scoring open for the Caps tipping a Brooks Laich shot past Theodore early in the third period.
The Caps just outworked the Avalanche who played Detroit the night before and it showed as the game wore on. Olaf Kolzig was a big part of adding to Colorado's offensive woes. While Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green didn't score, the Capitals were able to find scoring when there seemed to be none. Theodore played solid for the Lanche and it took a lucky bounce to help the Caps. It takes me back to when all those little bounces used to go against the Caps, it's nice to see some hockey karma.
Shaone Morrisonn also played well early getting 3 or 4 good scoring chances early when the Caps were swarming. Even though he didn't find the scoresheet and was a -1, Morrisonn is quickly becoming a presence defensively on the ice. Morrisonn, late in his shift and heading off for a change, quickly had to back check on a broken play that sent an Avalanche player in alone on Kolzig. Morrisonn busted his butt and was able to knock away the puck with out taking a penalty.
Steve Eminger got his second straight start of the season with Brian Potheir and Tom Poti out of the lineup. He is looking better so it seems the rust is starting to fade. Still, his speed looks a little off, probably due to his leg injuries. But Emmy did get a few good hits off, and played solid defensively.
More important than just the win, the Capitals have jumped to 13th in the Eastern Conference with the two points they earned tonight. Leap frogging Toronto, the Caps pull even with Florida at 41 points and are poised to make that jump again. It puts the Caps just 4 points behind 8th place Islanders and a coveted playoff spot. But more work needs to be done. The teams don't get any easier, Philly comes to town next, then Ottawa and Edmonton. The Caps must continue to work hard and pick up those standing points every night.
In some side news, Glen Hanlon isn't begging for work anymore. The Capitals have hired Hanlon as a scout based out of DC. It wasn't going to take long for Hanlon to get a job again in the league and it was nice to keep Hanlon in the fold in some way. He is probably sleeping better at night now. Also in Hershey, it's good news for Eric Fehr fans as not only is he back skating, but was in uniform tonight in Hershey's game against Norfolk and registered an assist.