Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flames Doused

Capitals 7, Flames 2
Game Summary

You would have to go back four years to recall the Caps last win in the Saddledome. Even with a poor start, the Capitals would break it open in the second period scoring 6 goals to water down the Calgary Flames 7-2. The Caps finish their three game road trip taking four of six possible points and earn their first win in Calgary in four years.

Alex Ovechkin would score a pair of goals within a minute (:12 seconds apart to be exact) both on the power play. It would cap a three point night for the Great 8 (2g, 1a) and earn him tonight's number one star. Nick Backstrom, Mike Green, Alex Semin, Matt Bradley and David Steckel would all add goals of their own in the rout. 

It would be the Capitals' struggling power play that would spark the sudden offensive explosion by the Capitals. After falling behind to 2-0, the Caps had a chance on the power play to try to get on the board before the first period ends. Green would set up Backstrom on a beautiful cross ice pass to get the power play goal. Backstrom would finish tonight with the game's third star and four points (1g, 3a)

In the second period, the Flames would take some bad penalties leading to a Caps five on three power play. Green would set up Ovechkin's game tying goal with the two man advantage. Then :12 seconds later Ovechkin would score the game winning goal on the ensuing five on four power play. He scored almost from the same place, left of Miikka Kiprusoff inside the face off circle about fifteen to twenty feet out.

It seemed after that, the Flames' wheels started to come loose. Green would score his first goal of the season after Calgary turned the puck over at their own blue line. Jeff Schultz kept the puck in finding Jason Chimera. Chimera would pass it cross ice to an open Semin while Green made a b-line to the Calgary net. Semin fed it to Green and he made no mistake going high glove on Kiprusoff. It would be Chimera's first point in four games as he was credited with the secondary assist.

Just over twenty seconds later, Flames' Cory Sarich would knock down a soft shot from the point and was pressured by Bradley. Sarich would chip it to try to get it clear of the forechecking player but instead beat Kiprusoff with the shot. Bradley would take the credit for the goal.

The Capitals' power play was on a roll and the penalty kill was pretty good tonight too. The Caps killed all six Calgary power play opportunities. They even contributed a goal as David Steckel blocked a shot and had a break away in the other direction. Mark Giordano hooked Steckel from behind and it led to a penalty shot for the Ohio State Buckeye. Steckel beat Flame back up Henrik Karlsson top shelf. It was Steckel's first career penalty shot/goal.

It had been a point of contention that the Caps just were not scoring enough. Ovechkin had only one goal in his last 4 games. Bruce Boudreau would put Alex Semin up on the top line. The result would lead to the early second period penalties and 2 of the three even strength goals.

Michal Neuvirth again was strong in net. His saves in the first period, even with the Caps down by two goals, made the second period outburst possible. After the Caps had scored to make it 2-1 on Backstrom's power play goal, the Flames had a great follow-up shift pressuring to score again. Neuvirth came up with a big pad save and what could have been a 3-1 lead for Calgary the Caps only found themselves down by one when breaking for the first intermission. Neuvirth would turn away 27 shots tonight.

Caps return home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night and then the very hot Bruins on Friday.

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