Capitals 4, Rangers 5 OT/SO
Scoresheet - Wash Post
A great thing happened in the '83 -'84 season when Boston's Mike O'Connell scored in seven straight games. It would take over twenty years for that record just to be matched. Mike Green scored a pair of goals scoring now in seven straight games tying O'Connell's record. During that seven game stretch Green has amassed 9 goals and 16 points. He can set a new NHL record against Tampa over the weekend. But the Caps can't hold off the Rangers and lose in the shootout, 5-4.
Tomas Fleischmann got the goal scoring started in the first and Eric Fehr did give the Capitals a brief 2-1 lead. In fact the Caps blew a one goal lead twice to the Rangers (and New York has had trouble scoring in their last 5 games). The game wouldn't be decided in regulation so we went to a scoreless overtime period and finished it off with a shootout.
The Capitals sorely missed Viktor Kozlov, a shoot out specialist of sorts this year for the Capitals. Actually, the line up for the shoot out was a bit perplexing to say the least. Micheal Nylander and Sergei Fedorov where the first two shooters. Really?
Nylander deke didn't do anything and Fedorov wasted his shootout effort with a 10 foot slapshot. Alex Ovechkin came in the third spot and went back to basics on the shootout. Instead of dekeing he just used his quick wrist shot to beat Henrik Lundqvist. Brooks Laich was the fourth shooter, again probably not the best choice after the efforts of Fleischmann and Fehr. I felt that they were much more deserving.
Jose Theodore played well besides the shot that beat him in the shootout. The shot rang off the crossbar and hit Theo on and bounced back in the net. I thought the rule was a shot in a shoot out could not be scored on a rebound, but that isn't the case if it bounces off the goaltender. A lesson that both Theo and I learned in this game.
The game was pretty open and there were a plethora of chances for both teams. There were two early fights, Donald Brashear and Colton Orr took up relations in the first. The fight was one of the better ones the Caps have been involved with this season and I think it came to a draw. The next drop of the puck there was another fight with Matt Bradley and Aaron Voros. The fight didn't seem necessary since the Brashear/Orr bout happen in the play before. Voros got some good shots in, giving him the edge in the second fight, although Bradley did take him down.
Fleischmann had one of his better games against the Rangers. He had a goal and an assist and finished the night a +3. He was pretty physical along the boards when he needed to be. Eric Fehr also had a good game.
The power play only had two chances and failed to come up with a goal. While the Caps are still taking bad penalties. The Caps took four penalties, including a double minor for a Shaone Morrisonn high stick, in the third period. Thus killing any offensive momentum on the Caps behalf. While the penalty killers did their job, the Caps were just too undisciplined down the stretch in a game they could have clearly won if they were not in the penalty box.
AP Photo, Kathy Willens