Capitals 7, Senators 4
Scoresheet - Wash Post
The Ottawa Senators were able to beat the Capitals in their previous meeting with three power play goals. Bruce Boudreau thought the Capitals took too many penalties, commenting that three penalties were all the Capitals could really afford in any game. The Caps were called for six, but this time only allowed one goal with a man down, including killing a 23 second 5 on 3. Meanwhile the Capitals own power play was lethal, scoring on the first two power play within just 4 or less seconds with the man advantage. Special teams hurt the Caps at Scotiabank Place, but it helped at home as the Caps rip the Senators 7-4.
Alex Ovechkin was in the zone scoring a hat trick and could have had more. All this from a player that doesn't really enjoy these early games. When asked about whether he liked the afternoon affair, Ovechkin gave a simple answer. "No," He simply stated. In the past two games, both in the afternoon, Ovi has 5 goals. His three goals today were two even strength tallies and a power play goal.
Mike Green had a spectacular afternoon netting a goal and playmaker (three assists). He was the only Capital with four points and one of his assists was Superbowl inspired lob that bounced right onto Alex Semin's stick who broke in for a pretty back hand goal for his 19th tally of the year. Eric Fehr also got on the scoresheet who was due for a goal after his preformance in the past two games. Nick Bacstrom scored an empty netter to put the cherry on top.
It wasn't a total domination. The Capitals put up a 6-2 lead at the end of the second period, but allowed the Senators to pull within two early in the third. "It's hard to keep the momentum going when you've got a team down 6-2," Boudreau told reporters following the game.
The Caps seemed to let up some and the Senators tried to save face. This is not girls high school basketball, it's professional sports and let up is not an option. If the Caps were able to let the Sens back into the game, we would be talking about the utter meltdown of the Caps play rather than Ovi's heroics and Mike Green's assist show.
Nick Backstrom and Sergei Fedorov also played really well. For Backstrom he had a goal and two assists, while Fedorov had a playmaker himself. Both moved the puck very well against a pourous Senators' defense.
After a bit of a slump Jeff Schultz finally had a solid game. In the past three or so games Schultz has been having a hard time moving the puck up on the break out. In this game he was a +4 (the next highest Capital was a +2) and had himself an assist.
Jose Theodore took the day off in favor of Brent Johnson who played okay. He came up with some pretty big saves especially on the penalty kill. He was able to gobble up 34 saves for his 11th win of the season. In fact both goaltenders for the Capitals are sporting winning records with Johnson's 11-6-2 record and Theo's 18-9-2 record.
If the Capitals are thinking of chasing down Boston, they are going to need some help from the rest of the league because Boston is on a tear right now. They won today to keep ahead of the Caps by 12 points. The Caps were able to over take the Devils to regain second in the Conference, but the games don't get any easier for the Caps. The Caps will face the New Jersey Devils at the Rock for their next game. The caps can solidfy their second place ranking or give up the ranking to the Devils.
AP Photo, Evan Vucci