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Cody Eakin helps Capitals top Flyers, 4-3, in rookie game

Cody Eakin might have started a little slowly against the Flyers on Thursday afternoon, but the 2009 draft pick responded well, topping off his performance with an unassisted game-winner in the Capitals' 4-3 win at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The goal was a nice backhanded shot that found the upper corner of the Flyers' net with just 1 minute 16 seconds remaining in regulation.

"That was a perfectly executed controlled breakout," Eakin said. "I came in with speed the whole way, the goalie didn't play it. I just kind of wrapped around, took a backhand and it squeaked through."

Here are some other notes and quotes from the rookie game victory:

* - Although Eakin served as the game's hero, center Marcus Johansson was one of the best players on the ice for the Capitals. There were several times where the 2009 first-round draft pick's speed helped him create opportunities in the offensive zone, and he had a nifty set-up on Stanislav Galiev's goal in the first period.

"He's changed his game a lot from development camp to now, which is good,," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of Johansson. "He wasn't sitting back. He's playing more of our style. You can see how effortless a skater he is and how strong he was on faceoffs and on the puck. He was probably the most consistent player we had all night."

* - In between bookend goals by Galiev, who also had a strong showing in the contest, and Eakin defenseman Josh Godfrey added a pair of power-play tallies. Unfortunately for Godfrey, he struggled defensively and at even strength, which have been areas he's needed to improve upon since he was drafted in 2007.

"My defensive game is something I've been trying to work on pretty well since I've been drafted here," said Godfrey, who should compete for a spot with the AHL's Hershey Bears this season. "I know it wasn't good enough to play at the NHL - my defensive game - but it's something I've been trying to work on."

Here's Hershey Coach Mark French, who was behind the bench for the contest, on Godfrey: "I think his five-on-five play has got to be better. Josh has brought that offensively to the table since he was a junior player and put up great points as a junior mostly because of that shot, and you saw the results of it. If he possesses one skill that's at the NHL level now it's his shot. He probably needs a more well-rounded game to get more five-on-five minutes."

* - Trevor Bruess stayed true to his word and found a willing dance partner in Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo in the second period. The crowd wasn't happy the referees broke up the skirmish, and neither was Bruess. "I thought they came in a little early," he said after the game. "He was running around a lot. I would have liked to get another shot at him."

* - With French on the bench, Boudreau watched the game from the balcony attached to the Capitals' main offices, but it's not something he wants to do on a regular basis. "I much prefer on the bench. I don't want to get used to being up on the balcony. I don't want to make much of a habit of it."

* - Kettler is closed to the media Friday and there are no on-ice activities. We'll still have a morning roundup post though and there will be plenty more updates from the first day of formal training camp on Saturday.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 16, 2010; 7:21 PM ET
 
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Next: George McPhee, still fighting the good fight for the Caps

Comments

Woohooo! First win of the season. Though, it would have been nice if the stream had worked.

Can't wait to see Eakin in main camp.

Posted by: ThisGuy | September 16, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Katie! Thanks for the write up as the online feed didn't seem to work for anybody.

Now, to address a couple of posts from earlier today...

"...Ovechkin = Mongo

Posted by: LarryDavid | September 16, 2010 12:38 PM..."


"...Love the "Mongo" comment. And please, Katie, a little more depth.

Posted by: illiad1 | September 16, 2010 1:18 PM..."


Hey grammar/speech police! Please remember that the object of language is to communicate, so if your pea brains can understand Ovie, then mission accomplished. Also, keep in mind that someone who speaks broken English speaks at least two languages, perhaps more.

So, Homer and HBO Star, how many languages do you speak FLUENTLY (caveat: Drunkenese does not count in this case)? Be happy that, through British and American imperialism, English is the world's de facto second language. Good luck if you ever get plopped down in the Motherland and have to make your way through day to day life. Hopefully, the fans of Atlant Moscow Oblast will be a bit more kind and understanding with Chris Bourque as he learns to deal with the native Russian speaking media than you and knuckleheads of your ilk have been with Ovie and others who did not learn English from birth.

Anyway, noone born here in the States is speaking/writing the Queen's English anymore, so it's time to stop beating the drum of cultural superiority using our borrowed language as a way to belittle and lord over people, especially when the persons in question are athletes who have, in many cases, spent a majority of their young lives practicing their craft while sacrificing their educations.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: YouAreABigWhiner | September 16, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought Eakin really stood out (except for that one error that led to a goal). He skated beautifully, great puck posession, and went to the net. MJ looked good, but I think the speed of the NHL will give him problems.

Posted by: capscoach | September 16, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. I challenge any of you to find a single insightful comment that is not paraphrasing a quote. Come on Post, wouldn't it be easier to find a hockey fan that can write than a writer who knows hockey?

Posted by: kyleroney | September 16, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. Maybe it's too early to be complaining, but I challenge any of you to find a single insightful comment from Katie that is not paraphrasing a quote. To be honest, I almost wonder if she was at the game. This sounds like a book report from a kid who read the wikipedia page. Come on Post, wouldn't it be easier to find a hockey fan that can write than a writer who knows hockey?

Eh, I probably should have learned by now not to expect any real hockey analysis by the Post. If it's not the Redskins, numbers and names is all you can really hope for.

Posted by: kyleroney | September 16, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Give her a chance

Posted by: CapsFan21 | September 17, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Kate , please allow me to say " I am very sorry " for the lack of educated readers here today . Your reports on the Capitals are very good . Please keep the hard work going . But as always there will be some that just don't get it .

Posted by: terryreece | September 17, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Kate , please allow me to say " I am very sorry " for the lack of educated readers here today . Your reports on the Capitals are very good . Please keep the hard work going . But as always there will be some that just don't get it .

Posted by: terryreece | September 17, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Kate , please allow me to say " I am very sorry " for the lack of educated readers here today . Your reports on the Capitals are very good . Please keep the hard work going . But as always there will be some that just don't get it .

Posted by: terryreece | September 17, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Agree with the pro-Katie comments. I was at the game and her tweets were helpful given the poor quality of the PA at Kettler. (Not the announcer, the equipment.)

Re the actual game, there were many moments when I was reminded of a real Caps game. Not able to take advantage of Flyers' penalties. For 43 seconds the Caps were 5 on 3 and didn't score. Oy. But these are the rookies so you expect them to be on a learning curve. I sure thought I saw Ovi, Backs, and Semin watching. Hope they saw the hustle. I did appreciate that the Caps rooks generally stayed out of the penalty box.

I arrived at 2:34 and barely got a seat. Many people stood for the entire game. I had a blast. Thanks to my boss for comp time!

Posted by: pirate1 | September 17, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Great Game,Eakin was a total stand out in the game, he wants the puck and he isn't scared to go get it.

@ Pirate1 - Yes 8, 19 and 28 were there they watched too, at least through the second period, didn't see them in the third. And the PA system sucks at Kettler, you would think given they charge you $45 and $60 for "Sale" marked shirts in the store they could afford to put a better system in place.

@ Capscoach - MJ looked great at times, that would be the times no one was around him. He has great skill and see the ice really really well but you hit the nail on the head. He is in trouble in the NHL with his speed, almost everytime he lost the puck yesterday it was as a result of his lack of speed.

Flyers Suck !!!!!!!!!!

Shout out to section 115 .........

Drop The Puck

Posted by: bqts | September 17, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

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