Capitals 5, Maple Leafs 4 OT/SO (2-0)
When the Toronto Maple Leafs score first, they were a perfect 4-0. When the Capitals give up the first goal they have the best record in the league coming back with a 5-3 record. The Leafs would score first in this tilt taking the lead in the first before the Caps would explode to a three goal second period, only to be answered by three goals by the Leafs in the third. It would take overtime and a shootout to decide this wild game. The Caps overpowered the Leafs as Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin both scored to give the home team the win, 5-4 OT/SO.
The Capitals will benefit from a better power play as Mike Green starts the goal spurt in the second period. Jason Chimera his third goal of the campaign after a hustle move by Boyd Gordon digging the puck out of the corner and found a charging Chim in front of the net. Just :53 seconds later, John Carlson would throw a wrister to the net and Tomas Fleischmann would tip it in for fourth goal of the season. It would be Carlson's sixth assist. Semin would score the game tying goal in the third period on the power play.
Putting the power back in power play.
Before the last two games the Capitals could only muster 3 goals in 39 chances. It was struggling to say the least. But in the last two games, the Caps have spurred their offense with power play tallies. Now, they have four power play goals in eight chances.
Having Mike Green on the back end of the power play seems to jolt the sleepy power play up. It is starting to rev up and teams will have to be on their best behavior in front of the Caps if their power play continues like it has in the last two games.
The Capitals broke down in the third after being a bit too cavalier with the puck clearing their zone. The passes have to be tape to tape and if the play isn't there, the defenders have to clear the zone. The quick goals by the Leafs was result of failing to clear the puck and breaking it out. It seems the Caps turn the puck over too many times at their own blue line.
Any goaltender in the National Hockey League will tell you that the last three players they would like to face in the shoot-out are probably Nick Backstrom, Ovechkin and Semin. Leafs' goaltender Jonas Gustavsson faced just that only stopping Backstrom (he also shot it wide). Ovechkin moved from left to right opening the Leafs' goaltenders' legs to score five hole. While Semin just wound up and shot a slapper in the slot that beat Gustavsson glove side cleanly. A wicked shot that any goalie in the NHL would cringe to see.
Just about the only consistent thing the Capitals have going for the them is in net. Michal Neuvirth had a pretty good game, although he did let 4 behind him (mostly not his fault). But when the Capitals needed a big save, he was there with the stop. Plus his performance in the shoot out was pretty spectacular too.
Keeping the streaks alive.
Green is back into his old scoring ways. He has 5 points in the last three games (2g, 3a). Ovi is back on a point streak through four games netting two assists tonight. He has seven points in the last four (3g, 4a).
DJ "Not So" King
It was a pretty tough night for the Capitals' tough man. He got into a scrap in the first with Colton Orr. But the fight was to a draw as both players found it hard to land any punches. But it wasn't Kings fisticuffs that have some worried. King turned over the puck at the blue line, then made half attempts to swipe the puck away. It would eventually lead to a goal against. He was a -2 tonight.
Secondary scoring... Finally!
The Caps were concerned the top line would have to do it all. Talk about pressure. But the Caps did get some goals from outside the top line of Ovechkin, But goals by Chimera and Fleischmann relieves some of the strain of the top lines. They needed those goals.