Big Win on Broad Street
When the Caps left town Monday afternoon, several players said they hoped getting away from home would help them refocus and get back to basics.
Did it ever.
The Capitals completed a stellar two-game trip tonight in Philadelphia, where they claimed a 2-1 win over the rival Flyers two days after beating the Predators in Nashville by the same score. Suddenly, that four-game losing streak at Verizon Center seems like so long ago.
"Getting the win in Nashville was nice to get back in the winning column," said Brooks Laich. "But you don't want to take a step back after taking a step forward. To get a win here, in a building where we've had a tough time. Obviously, we wanted a little redemption from the last time we played here."
That was the quote of the night. Pretty much summed up the past three-plus days for the Caps, who can all but end the division race Saturday at home against Carolina (if it isn't already finished). The 'Canes' 3-2 loss in Dallas combined with the Caps' win on Broad Street increased Washington's lead to 12 points in the Southeast.
On to the rest of the notes:
Standing on His Head
Well, not quite. But Jose Theodore is on his game. He stopped 62 of 64 shots on the trip, including a ridiculous diving glove save on Kimmo Timonen early in the second period tonight.
"Even the Toronto and Pittsburgh we started to play well," Theodore said. "You could see we were starting to build on a good thing. Now to get to big wins on the road, it's good to go back home with four points."
Theodore was especially good in the second period in which the Flyers out-shot the Caps, 19-12. Boudreau can see the uptick in Theodore's game, too.
"He's in a real zone right now," Boudreau said. "It's something he's used to doing at the end of the year, and it's something hopefully he can continue to do as time goes on."
The 'Special' in Special Teams
The Caps only got two power play opportunities tonight. But they scored on half of them thanks to pretty display of passing by Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin as well as Brooks Laich's nose for the net.
"It was a great play by Alex because they think he shooting all the time," Laich said of Ovechkin's deft pass to him. "He's such a magnet. Teams always focus on him. So I just snuck in backdoor and it was a great pass."
The penalty kill, meanwhile, killed off all four of the Flyers' power plays. Anchored by Jeff Schultz, Tom Poti, Boyd Gordon and David Steckel, it's now been perfect in three of the past four games.
The PK was especially good early, extinguishing three shorthanded situations in the first period, including an elbowing infraction issued to Alexandre Giroux, who was recalled earlier in the day.
"Those set the tone," Steckel said of the kills. "You don't want to have to do that every game, but when you have three thrown at you right away, it shows we were up to the task. We were ready. We built momentum off of it."
Not So Fast
Not one, but two goals were disallowed in the third period. First, Tomas Fleischmann had one called back because Michael Nylander had landed on top of Martin Biron after a shove (the referee's official ruling was incidental contact with the goalie). The Flyers then had one nullified about a minute later because Mike Knuble had been whistled for interference on Jeff Schultz before the puck entered the net.
After dropping four straight on home ice, the Caps have won five straight on the road for the first time since 2000-01 season. In case you're wondering, eight of this season's final 13 games are away from the District.
Ovechkin on the Verge
With two more goals, Ovechkin will become the first Capital to record three 50-goal seasons and join Teemu Selanne as the only active player to have accomplished the feat.
Speaking of Alex
After getting bottled up in Nashville, Ovechkin was all over the place tonight. In addition to the goal and the assist, he also took eight shots, recorded three hits and made a highlight-reel effort on Simon Gagne, swiping the puck away from the Flyers sniper on a breakaway.
"That was one of his best games," Philly goalie Martin Biron said. "I mean great game for him because he was active."
That's it from me tonight. The Caps are scheduled to practice tomorrow at 11 a.m. at KCI.
Posted by: ralph4100 | March 13, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: oo7 | March 13, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ovechwin | March 13, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: oo7 | March 13, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kevbnyc | March 13, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: capsfan387 | March 13, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jonathan6 | March 13, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: large23220 | March 13, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kevbnyc | March 13, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: LA_caps_fan | March 13, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 13, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Osfan092589 | March 13, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 13, 2009 2:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 13, 2009 2:57 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: croftonpost | March 13, 2009 3:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Fro_ | March 13, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ken_nickell | March 13, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.