Capitals 5, Rangers 3
It was not pretty, but it was a hard fought, good two points for the Capitals. The New York Rangers came out to play a rough, physical game to knock the Caps off their skill game. While the top line was held in check, the Caps' grinders came through for them as they down the Rangers 5-3.
The Caps would, once again, have to come from behind to win the game. After letting the first goal in by Ranger Brian Boyle, Brooks Laich would answer for the Capitals on the power play. He tipped in a Semin shot-pass and it beat Ranger's goaltender Henrick Lundqvist five-hole. Laich would add a empty netter to seal the deal.
After that, the Caps' grinders and tough guys had their night. John Erskine scored a wicked shot high stick side on Lunqvist. Mike Knuble finally gets on the board for the season, burying a pass from an Alex Ovechkin. Matt Hendricks scored the game winner after some hard work by the grinding line keeping the puck deep. Matt Bradley found Hendricks in front and the Caps would go on to win.
A Chippy Affair.
Every crash at the net, every tussle along the boards led to a scrum as both teams got a little chippy with one another. While a fight was due to break out, it was a bit of a shock to see Mike Green take on Brandon Dubinsky in a dust up. The scrums would become less and less prevalent as the game wore on, but there were plenty of sore feelings between the two.
Goons On Ice.
John Erskine is not really known for his sniper abilities, but he scored on a blast of a shot from the point that beat Lundqvist high stick side. It would snap a 31 game goal-less streak for Erksine but the Rangers topped that just :41 seconds later when Ranger goon Derek Boogaard scored his first since his rookie season. Boograad shot it in the exact same spot where Erskine scored. It would snap a 234 game stretch where he did not score a goal.
I Laich It.
Brooks Laich may have been left off the three stars of the game list, but he had himself a pretty good game. He scored a pair of goals, was a +3 with three points. He drew a boarding call after hustling, negating a Ranger power play. Laich also was perfect on the face off dot (100%), but only took one draw. At the time this post was written, Laich now leads the league in =/- with a +13.
Alex Semin snapped a 4 game goal streak, but keeps his point streak alive. It now stretches to 5 games. Ovechkin stretches his point streak to seven games and his assist streak to 5 games. The Capitals stretch their winning streak to 5 games. Neuvirth now leads the league with wins (9) and has won 3 of his last 4 starts in net.