Scoresheet - Wash Post
Alex Ovechkin figured in on every goal this afternoon. He opened the scoring with a power play goal, took a bad penalty for delay of game that gave the Islanders a two-man advantage and subsequently scored and Ovi netted the over time winner with another power play goal. Ovechkin was all the offense the Capitals needed as they gain a point on Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins by beating the New York Islanders 2-1.
The penalty that led to the game winner was a slashing call on Brendan Witt. Witt, who claims his innocence saying, "It was a pretty weak call," took a few whacks at Ovechkin. Most refs would let you get away with one, maybe two good whacks at someone's stick, but Witt hit Ovi's stick a good four or five times even prompting my wife (who was casually watching) to speak up, "Isn't that slashing?" If the wife can pick up the penalty, you know it's bad.
While the attention went to Ovechkin (with his now league leading 31 goals), Islander goaltender Yann Danis kept the Islanders in the game even blanking Ovechkin on a early break away and getting lucky on a attempted clear that was picked off by Ovi who in turn hit the post instead of a wide open net. Danis played well enough to put the game into overtime, but Witt's penalty was too much for the Islanders to over come.
Danis' counterpart, Jose Theodore, had a pretty good game himself stopping 24 shots and seemed to stifle any Islander chance with some solid saves and gobbling up rebounds. It was worthy of a third star. When a goaltender makes hard saves look easy, you know they are very focused. Theo is starting to warm up to a goaltender we all hoped he would be.
Puckhead's Player of the game (a new feature I am playing around with) goes to Brooks Laich. Laich logged just over 18 minutes of ice time and had seven shots on net and an assist on Ovechkin's first goal. Laich also had a pure hustle break-away. Caught between two defenders, he simply outskated them both to give himself a sudo-breakaway. Although he did not score on that chance, Laich had a quiet but effective game today.
- The Capitals have the fastest 30 wins in franchise history beating the old record by two games. Coincidentally the '84-'85 team won their 30th game in 49 games against the New York Islanders, the '08-'09 Caps get their 30th win in 47 games.
- I am not sure if Alex Semin is breaking in new skates or if the ice was bad at Nassau, but he seemed to slip around on the ice more than usual.
- Viktor Kozlov had the most shots on net, surprisingly, beating out Ovi by one shot (Kozlov 9, Ovechkin 8).
- Islander Bill Guerin only had one shot on net, but he had seven shots that missed the net.
- Boyd Gordon made his return from back spasms, and was a welcome sight in the face off circle.
- The Caps head to Ottawa to face the Senators. The Caps played the Senators on election day and now will play them on inauguration day.