The Washington Capitals may have won the game in convincing fashion, but it was the parade of defensemen off the ice that drew the most attention. The Caps were resilent when they needed to be and Brian Pothier had one heck of a hockey game with 3 points as they win game one of a home and home with the Florida Panthers, 4-1.
Mike Green left after only four shifts in the first period with an upper body injury. He was followed by Jeff Schultz in the second period who had a lower body injury. Shaone Morrisonn was called for a boarding call with eight minutes left in the third and was ejected for the game. Bruce Boudreau put Tyler Sloan in as a forward and it paid off as the blue line seemed to be dropping like flies.
The Caps however get some timely and much needed scoring from some lines that had been struggling. The second line of Mike Knuble, Brendan Morrison and Brooks Laich played hard all game rewarding Morrison with a pair of goals. While Pothier had a career night with a goal and two assists. Sloan scored his second in as many games as he has found some chemistry with Mathieu Perreault and Chris Clark.
This was a total team win tonight by the Capitals. It was made evident by the primary and secondary assists on the first three goals of the night. Jose Theodore stopped 28 shots and what he couldn't stop, his defensemen stepped in. Sloan even stopped a dribbler from making it past Theo towards the net.
"Jose was superb," Boudreau said. "Especially in the first five minutes of the game when they came right at us. He did a great job holding the fort until we got a goal or two."
Injuries seem to be mounting up for the Capitals. Green and Schultz will join Alex Ovechkin who is likely out for tomorrow's rematch game against the Panthers. Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr are still nursing injuries.
For the most part, the Caps were successful in avoiding the penalty box. But Shaone Morrisonn hit a Panther right in the numbers into the boards. That led to a five minute major for the Caps' defenseman. The Caps did a fantastic job of killing off the major only allowing one shot on net for the 5 minute duration.
- According to Bruce Boudreau, Shaone Morrisonn may be suspended for his boarding hit. The Caps received a letter from the league stating as much so if Morrisonn had a 5 min. major called on him in either the first 10 or 15 games (they weren't sure on the time frame). The letter claimed that Morrisonn had been called for two boarding majors last season, but he only had one (Feb. 7 against the same Florida Panthers). It's unclear if he will be suspended by the league.
- Alex Semin may not have scored a point, but he didn't take any bad penalties either. His ice time was pretty even through out the game including some time on the ice when the Panthers had pulled their goaltender.
- Nick Backstrom got his 15 assist on the season when he passed it to Brian Pothier and his one timer scored on the power play. He is now tied for second in the league with two other players.