Capitals 4, Thrashers 3 OT
Alex Semin broke out with three goals as the Washington Capitals overcome another slow start against the Atlanta Thrashers. Tomas Fleischmann would finish it off in overtime and the Capitals stop their losing ways at just 2 games. The Capitals are a perfect 3-0 when going into overtime thus far in the season.
Semin would score a natural hattrick to bring up his season total to 5 goals. His first happened after Chris Mason made an errant pass up the wall and found Semin at the half boards. He ripped it into the open net sending out a loud ping as the puck hit the post and went in the net.
On his second goal, Mathieu Perreault's gritty play would benefit Alex Semin's game tying goal after Brooks Laich forced a turn over along the boards to Perreault. MP85 would get tripped up and Semin would clean up after the play in front of the net to tie the game at two in the third.
Perreault would make the most of his call up by also assisting on Semin's third goal to give the Caps the lead in the third period. Perreault moved his feet to open some space and found Semin on the far post open. Semin chipped it with his back hand past Mason and the hats rained down on the ice. It was Semin's fourth career hattrick, and the first by the Caps since February of last season (also scored by Semin).
The penalty kill has hit a snag in the last two games. After being perfect through the first 6 games, the Caps shorthanded have allowed 4 goals on 11 chances in the last two games. While the PK was okay tonight, the Caps' power play continues to struggle as they went 0 for 3 tonight. They blew three minutes of a major penalty on Dustin Byfuglien. Buff ran the Caps' goaltender Michal Neuvirth and got his head nearly taken off by John Erskine standing up for his goaltender. But the power play sputtered and a hooking call by Brooks Laich would negate the penalty early in the third.
The Caps would dress Mike Green for the tilt, but he would see no actual five on five ice time. He was just in to help the struggling power play. He would bounce a puck off his skate in the net, but the call was called back as it was deemed Green kicked it into the net. He didn't play in the overtime period either and spent most of the time sitting on the bench.
A season ago the Washington Capitals have been off to fast starts in games. They have outscored their opponents in the first period 92-67. In the first 8 games of this season, they have had to come from behind being outscored in the opening frame 9-3. Without the quick start, the Caps are finding a difficult time getting through their games. Tonight would be no different as the Capitals allow a late first period goal against the Thrashers and have to work from behind.
The Caps now go on a three game road trip starting with the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night, then hop over to the Twin Cities to take on the Wild Thursday night and end up in Calgary to face one-time Cap Brendan Morrison on Saturday night.