Friday, November 28, 2008

Theodore Gets Shutout, Boudreau Gets 50th Win

Capitals 3, Canadians 0
Scoresheet - Wash Post

The Capitals had a decimated blue line and yet the call-ups from Hershey were more than enough. Bruce Boudreau and Jose Theodore both reached milestones in a place where it seems the Washington Capitals can do no wrong, the Verizon Center. Boudreau earns his 50th career win in 84 games at the NHL level, and Theodore posts his first shutout as a Cap as the Montreal Canadiens find out how hard it is to play the Caps at home losing 3-0.

Tomas Fleischmann's rare home goal was the game's first tally and the game winner. He scored off of a broken play by the Canadiens when Francis Bouillon tried to clear the puck when Flash intercepted it. He quickly passed it to Micheal Nylander who passed right back for Flash's 9th goal of the season. Alex Ovechkin keeps his point streak alive with a goal of his own, now at 10 games and Dave Steckel tipped a Sami Lepisto shot up over Jaroslav Halak to finish off the Habs.

Jose Theodore secured his first shut out as a Cap against one of his former teams stopping all 28 shots. Actually, it was his first win against Montreal (previously 0-1) and his 26th career shutout. JT60 now is 5-1-1 in his last seven starts. He was tested by a very aggressive Canadien team in the second as they outshot the Caps 13 - 7. But Theo kept coming up with the saves. His rebound control has improved in the past 3 or 4 games, where pucks now seem to be swallowed up by him. Before bad rebounds led to easy opposition goals. JT60 also gets his second straight win and is a perfect 5-0 at home.

Bruce Boudreau set a milestone himself. His 50 wins in 84 games is the fastest any coach has reached that mark in franchise history.

The Capitals defense sure took a bad hit in the past 3 or 4 games with injury after injury sidelining major contributors. Mike Green (shoulder), Tom Poti (groin), John Erskine (concussion), Brian Potheir (long term concussion) and Jeff Schultz (broken digit) all have been sidelined nursing injuries. That prompted the call up of Tyler Sloan, Sami Lepisto, Karl Alzner and most recent Bryan Helmer. Only two defensemen from the Caps original seven at the beginning of the season were on the ice for tonight's tilt, Shaone Morrisonn and Milan Jurcina. Both Erskine and Green are hoping for a return after the Caps visit Columbus.

In the mean time the call-ups are doing better than alright. Since Alzner and Lepsito have been called up, the Caps seemed to have settled down the goals against. The Caps have only allowed 3 goals in the last two games while offense is doing their job posting 8 goals. What is more impressive, the Caps penalty kill did not allow a single shot on net from the Canadiens. Granted the Caps were only shorthanded 3 times, it's still impressive considering the core of the defensive unit is now reserves from Hershey.

It's kind of scary to think how deep this Capitals team really is. With seven players out, the Caps look to have gain momentum rather than lost it. The talent pool is to the brim with players that have the potential to break into the league right now. The youth seems to sparked this team back from the dead. Making us all forget a horrible five game road trip where the Caps could only secure 3 points.

Graham Mink was reassigned back to Hershey as Boyd Gordon returned to the line up. Chris Bourque stayed up as Alex Semin (shoulder) and Sergei Fedorov (ankle) are still nursing injuries. It is likely that the same team that played tonight, will be on the roster for tomorrow night's game at Columbus.

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