Capitals 3, Devils 1
Scoresheet - Wash Post
It was going to be a devil of a time for the Caps as their high powered offense would face one of the best defensive teams of all time. The Capitals had momentum with four straight wins, while the New Jersey Devils were hitting a slump with All-Star goaltender Marty Brodeur out of the line up. The Caps take the first of a home and home with the Devils as both teams now shift their attention to the second game at the Rock in NJ.
Alex Ovechkin continues his modest scoring streak to three games with the empty netter tonight. Tomas Fleischmann (one of his best games as a Cap) and Brooks Laich (a power play goal, his fourth) both tallied the other markers for the Caps. The Caps made good on their opportunities the Devils afforded them and jumped out to an early 2 goal lead. Even though the Devils came back with a tally to cut it close, goals seemed hard to come by these days for the Devils.
Alex Semin was hurt sometime late in the second and did not return. Although, it may not be too serious. "He'll be fine tomorrow, as far as I know," Bruce Boudreau said. Semin was a held with out a point for the first time in 5 games, but where Semin left off, Ovi came on. Ovechkin had a goal and a helper, finishing the night with two points.
But probably the best player for the Capitals was the man in net, Jose Theodore. After sitting for the past 4 games in favor for Brent Johnson's stint in net, Theodore came back with an impressive performance. Allowing only one goal on 33 shots, Theo had a couple of game-saving stops to keep the Caps lead. When Theodore has the lead, he is a better goaltender. Johnny is presumably back in net for tomorrow night's tilt in NJ.
Flash had a pretty good game as well, he finished the night with four shots and a goal to boot. Fleischmann is becoming a better player before our eyes, and that is built around his confidence and coming to camp in better shape. He is making himself more and more invaluable on that second line. Viktor Kozlov's assist on Flash's goal was his 500th career point.
Boyd Gordon and Tom Poti where two other players that stood out tonight as the pair of them were able to thwart the Devil's power plays with Gordon winning the draw on face offs and Poti sending it the length of the rink. As much as Poti sometimes looks invisible out there at times, when he is out of the line up the Caps miss him dearly which means he is doing something right.
The Caps winning streak continues now to 5 straight. If the Caps can keep winning in long stretches, then they are head and shoulders above where they were last season. While their are still some bugs to clean up here and there, the Caps now embark on a very long and tricky road trip and will face two hot teams in Anaheim and San Jose once they conclude their business in New Jersy.
Video highlights courtesy of NHL.com: