Saturday, February 28, 2009

Long Shot Gets Fortieth Win

Capitals 4, Bruins 3 OT
Scoresheet - Post - Times

In a playoff intense game, the highly anticipated clash between Boston and Washington was nothing short of an amazing game. The Bruins matched the Capitals goal for goal as it took overtime to settle the game. The game winner came off of a neutral zone shot by Alex Semin that found its way past Tim Thomas and into the Bruin net. And just like that the Capitals are able to win in Boston for the first time since Alex Ovechkin was a rookie 4-3.

The Capitals' power play started the scoring off when the Bruins' penalty killers got caught pinching a little too much in the Caps' zone. It created a 4 on 2 in the other direction and Nick Backstrom was the beneficiary of a juicy rebound. Alex Ovechkin scored his league leading 45th goal and Tomas Fleischmann got lucky when his pass bounced off of a Bruin defender and past Thomas.

Boston however is too good of a team to keep down for long. Boston answered every one of the Caps' goals, even getting the second equalizer just :18 seconds after the Caps tally. The Capitals were guilty of letting up on their play a bit and the Bruins took full advantage. But what the Caps' defense couldn't stop, Jose Theodore came up big. He had some huge saves late in the game that kept the Caps in the game. Theo wanted that last goal back that he gave up late in the third, but his play was pretty spot on.

The Caps were able to hold themselves to just four minors, but two of those penalties came late in the game as the Bruins ramped up their attack. Backstrom had no choice but to take a slashing call with just over 5 minutes left in the game. That lead to Zdeno Chara's game tying, power play goal and forced overtime for the two Eastern Conference giants.

The extra period didn't last long as Alex Semin crossed into the neutral zone and shot a puck that looked like it was drifting wide just outside the blue line. Thomas skidded out to make the what looked like an easy save, but the puck trickled out behind him and puttered to the left side of the net and in. Just :22 seconds into the extra period it was over, and the Capitals get to their fortieth win faster than any Capital team before them.

Puckhead's player of the game is Jose Theodore as he stopped 34 shots and made some pretty spectacular saves to keep the Caps alive and kicking when Boston seemed destined to score. While I am sure he would like to take back the Chara goal, he played well enough given some of the defensive breakdowns in front of him.

The Caps don't have much time for celebration as they have another matinee at the phone booth taking on the Florida Panthers. The Panthers are coming off a tough loss to New Jersey. They should be a desperate team as they are keeping their playoff hopes alive.

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