Sunday, April 11, 2010

Caps Finish With 121

Capitals 3, Bruins 4 OT/SO (0-2)
Game Summary

For a game that really did not mean much in the standings there was plenty of fireworks between these two Eastern Conference foes. The Washington Capitals would come up just short and Alex Ovechkin would miss out on any hardware for the regular season as they drop one in a shoot out against the Boston Bruins 4-3.

Alex Semin scored to reach 40 goals on the season, a career high for the Caps' forward. Capitals also got goals from Eric Belanger and Mike Knuble. While the Caps had the lead twice (1-0 and 3-2) but some break downs in defense and the Bruins new found confidence in offense were able to match the Caps with some big goals by Micheal Ryder and Marco Strum.

The real fireworks came just 2:43 into the game, just twenty seconds after Semin's goal to give the Caps the lead, when Jason Chimera ran Tim Thomas. Thomas returned the favor with a few jabs of his blocker into Chimera's face. The Bruins goaltender would draw a double minor for the punches and Chimera would get a misconduct later when he went back to talk to Thomas about the rest of his blocker that was still in Chimera's face.

That seemed to wake Thomas up and the Caps seemed to struggle after that encounter. The Bruins seemed embolden by the incident. The result was a gutsy game by the Bruins and a well earned 2 points won in the shoot out.

It was clear the game didn't mean much for the Capitals' head coach Bruce Boudreau. He put Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley out to take the shots against the Bruins goaltender. Both failed to score, as the Bruins got scores from David Krejci and Miroslav Satan.

Ovechkin came up short on both the Rocket Richard Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy as he was shut out from getting a single point or goal. Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos would tie for the Rocket and Henrik Sedin will win the Ross.

The Capitals finish the marathon season with a franchise record 121 points, the President's Trophy for best regular season record in the league (a franchise first), franchise record road wins at 24 and the first team outside the original six to get 120 points in a season.

It was a season of firsts as the Caps finish first in team goals (318), first in the league in wins (54), first in the league on the power play (25.2%, the Caps have never led in the NHL), first in the league in road goals (157), first in power play goals on the road (38), first in team +/- (+74, the closest team in second is Chicago with +46), first in Goals For average of 3.8.

The Capitals also found out who they will face the Montreal Canadiens. Preveiw of that match up will come soon.

This was a great season by the Washington Capitals. But turning that success into playoff success depends on a great deal for them. If Jose Theodore continues to hold true to form, the Caps would benefit from a tighter defensive crew. There is not much to complain about though, since the goal differential of +85.

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