Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wild Wednesday

Capitals 6, Ducks 4
Scoresheet - Wash Post - LA Times

Just three games were played Wednesday night. All three games combined for 30 goals. The Capitals faced the rough and physical Anaheim Ducks and took a few hard hits but came away with a 6-4 win.

All six of the Capitals' goals were scored by a different Cap. Tomas Fleischmann, Mike Green and Nick Backstrom got the Caps out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first. The Ducks answered with a couple of goals. Alex Ovechkin scored in his fifth consecutive game, Matt Bradley and David Steckel scored and the Ducks pressured late.

The Ducks played a hard, physical game against the Caps. That was to be expected, but they also have a bit of a dirty side. That led to some senseless penalties early in the game and the Caps' power play made them pay.

"We've been practicing it and practicing it," Bruce Boudreau commented on the effectiveness of the Capitals' power play. "Just because we haven't scored multiple goals, it doesn't mean that we haven't had chances. I think we have scored one in four or five games in a row, and we are steadily moving the percentage up. Those things are difference-makers and we thought today with special teams were going to make the difference in the game."

The Caps took advantage of some early power plays as the Ducks got into some penalty trouble early. They were 3 of 8 with the man advantage and the penalty kill did its job knocking off 4 of 5.

Ducks' Steve Montador gave Ovi a little spear following one of his runs. The after whistle hitting and chirping continued all game as the Ducks tried every thing to get the Caps off their game. What they couldn't do was recover from an early 3 goal deficit in the first.

Mike Green who had a goal and an assist left the game early after a monster hit by choir boy Chris Pronger. The hit was clean, Green just kept his head down a moment too long. Green left soon after and never returned, although he didn't appear to be injured right after the hit. The Caps, true to form, did not divulge what could be ailing the defenseman.

Jose Theodore played okay. Good but not great. He did come up with a couple of big saves. Viktor Kozlov played his best game of the season so far. He used his size effectively and had a pretty assist on Backstrom's goal. Micheal Nylander also played well getting two assists. In all twelve players made their way onto the scoresheet.

But the night really belonged to Alex Ovechkin. He had a goal and a playmaker to finish with a four point night. Ovi played possessed, skating hard and making plays happen. It's the fastest I have seen him all year. Especially when J.S. Giguere took over in net.

"We beat a great team tonight," Ovechkin told reporters after the game. "We just tried to play it simple, and that is the key for us. We have a lot of skilled guys, and we just have to use our skills. Sometimes we just try to play too fancy. But tonight we just shot the puck, controlled the game and created some great chances to score goals. And you saw the results."

Injuries may start to hinder the Caps as they were once again without of the services of Sergei Fedorov, Alex Semin and Shaone Morrisonn. If Green is down too, there could be another call up from Hershey if Morrisonn isn't ready to return. Unlikely though as the Caps stay in southern California for tomorrow night's game in Los Angeles.

The Caps have now earned points in 8 consecutive games. The have also scored at least a goal in 14 consecutive periods in regulation. The month of November has been very good to the Capitals as they have posted a 6-1-2 record so far. They have outscored their opponents 30 to 24.

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