Monday, February 21, 2011

Ovi Blasts One Over Pens

Capitals 1, Penguins 0
Game Summary

Some would call it boring, others would call it old time hockey. The Washington Capitals call it two points. Even though the Penguins were with out superstars Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and were half way through a trade sending a solid defensemen to Dallas, the Caps didn't take many chances and played their tough defensive style to clip the Pens 1-0.

Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal of the game on a blaster that blew past everyone, including Penguin goaltender Marc-Andre Fluery as the Caps power play now has goals in the last two straight. Both power play tallies would end up game winners.

While there was only one goal scorer, the Penguins and Capitals played a spirited game that saw some good physical play. It was a shaky start for the Caps as they started the first having to deal with three penalty kills after some sloppy play. But a hit in the early stages of the game by Matt Cooke seemed to energize the Caps.

Matt Bradley took it upon himself to hit Cooke a few times and eventually was called for charging on a what looked to be a clean hit. Bradley would also fight a bit later in the period, not with Cooke but with a call up in Ryan Craig. The Caps rallied around that fight and eventually they would draw a tripping call late in the second period.

It looked as if the Caps' power play would once again struggle against one of the league's best penalty kills. But a break down in Penguins' coverage left an open Ovechkin at the point and his slapper was a laser over Fleury's shoulder for the game's only goal.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
While it's never smart to sit back on a lead, the Caps' defense came through blocking a slew of shots to help Michal Neuvirth with his second straight shut-out against the Penguins. He would stop all 39 shots his way. Including 18 shots in the first and 14 shots in the third.

This is a big win for the Caps as they take a two point step closer to the lead in the Southeast Division. Now just a point behind the Lightning, the Caps still have to make up ground as Tampa has the games advantage. They also put some distance between them and Montreal, now five points ahead of them.

Caps end their 5 game road stretch with 6 points to show for it. All three wins the Caps secured were by just one goal. The two they lost were also by just a goal. The Caps will get some rest this week as they return home to face the Rangers on Friday night at the phone booth.

No comments: