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Caps 4, Bruins 1

For the third straight game, the Caps conceded that they got outplayed. For the third straight game, they still managed to win.

This time, Jose Theodore bailed out his teammates on a night when many of them decided to show up fashionably late. The veteran goalie stopped 41 shots to help the Caps rally for a 4-1 win and extend their winning streak to a franchise record 11 straight.

Theodore also picked up his career-best eighth win in a row with a second 40-plus save effort in five starts. Remember that 3-2 win over the Red Wings? Tonight followed a similar script.

"Jose was tremendous, tremendous," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They had so many more quality chances than we did. Once we got the first goal in the third period, it just really took the wind out of their sails. It was like, 'What do we have to do to score?'"

Check out my game story here, then come on back for notes and quotes:

*Theodore, of course, earned the first star of the game. The second star, however, went to Tom Poti, and deservedly so. In 21:11 of ice time, Poti finished with two primary assists, three shots on goal and a team-best plus/minus rating of plus-4.

Making it ever sweeter was the fact that the Worcester, Mass. native did it in front of about 20 friends and family members.

"It's too bad the American team wasn't looking at him for the Olympics," Boudreau said. "He has that kind of ability. He's a pretty good defensive player and he can throw up those offensive [numbers] too."

Poti added: "My legs are going really good this year. Last year, it was rough getting around the pond out there [because of multiple groin muscle injuries]. Lately they feel good and I'm trying to create things when I can."

*Alexander Semin likely kept himself out of Boudreau's doghouse with his play in the third period. After taking three minor penalties in the first two periods, Semin set up the winner after picking of Matt Hunwick's reverse pass and feeding the puck over the Brooks Laich, whose slump suddenly seems like so long ago. Laich buried the shot and now has four goals and two assists in his last nine games after amassing a goal and five assists in his previous 18 games.

"He's one of those guys that when you need it, he makes the great play," Boudreau said of Semin, "whether he's having success or has taken three hooking penalties."

Semin's point streak has reached 10 games.

*I'm running out of superlatives for Mike Knuble, who scored his 19th goal off of his leg. Or skate. Or stick. He actually said he isn't sure what it hit. Anyway, the dude seems to have scored about half his goals with something other than his shot. I'm exaggerating, but still. Might have been the best offseason signing in the league.

*Boudreau on the winning streak: "It's pretty mind boggling. It hasn't set in. It's a pretty big number, it's difficult thing to do. I've been in the pro game 35 years and I've only been involved in it once. So it comes around [twice] every 35 years. It's a good milestone for those guys."

*The Bruins are getting desperate after dropping their eighth straight. So desperate, in fact, they're practicing at a local private high school tomorrow morning. No one in the media room knows why, but it's rather obvious Claude Julien is just trying to change things up.

As big as tonight's win was from a historical perspective, I though Poti put it best when he said: "It's nice to have streaks and stuff. But we have bigger goals for this team."

I had better get out of here. The cleaning crew is starting to hover. The Caps will enjoy an off day with the Dads tomorrow in Manhattan. Me? I'll be in a hotel room in Times Square scratching out a story for Thursday's paper.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 3, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
 
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Next: Morning roundup: Caps roll to new record

Comments

Jose is looking to show that he's the veteran leader in net this team is looking for in the playoffs. Incredible job.

And Knuble and Laich are on their way to the 20 goal club. Another stellar third period.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 3, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Okay, the streak is amazing. The team's offensive output - 218 goals for - is staggering. But have you considered the gaudy goal differential the Caps have posted to date? They sit at over 1.2 goals better than their opponents per game thru nearly 70% of the season. No one else in the NHL is even at 1 goal better. That's simply astounding.

Posted by: jburksva | February 3, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

With Jose playing like this, I don't think the team needs to trade for a goaltender. Just go with him or whichever kid is hottest in the playoffs.

Also, if he is willing to comeback next year at a lower cap number, it makes it a little easier to trade Neuvirth, if needed, as part of a package for a top defender, which despite the 2.00 gaa in this streak, the team still needs.

Posted by: mercedeskk | February 3, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought Sloan looked pretty darned good tonight.

Red Wings up on the Sharks by 2 with 2 mins to go. Sharks then go on a 6 game road trip leading into the break.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 3, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Wings beat the Sharks and the Caps now sit atop the NHL

That's fine and everything, but there's much more important work to do.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 3, 2010 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I think we're set on goalies. As for next year, I don't know if we can afford to keep Theo, unless he takes a drastic pay cut. I would love to, but we might have to lose a few guys to do so.

As for Knuble - I have to agree with Tarik. Best offseason pickup in the NHL. Not only has he brought his own talents for playing in front of the net, he has taught Laich and Fehr how to as well. He is among the best in the NHL at playing right around the crease, and has really gotten those two into following his style. That was the main thing we were missing last year, and Knuble has filled that void perfectly.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 3, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

sloan is garbage. the guy can skate and throw his body a little, but his decisions with the puck are echl caliber.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 3, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

I think if we had Knuble last year, we would have beaten the penguins, and it would have taken fewer than 7 games.

Posted by: pdo3 | February 3, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

I think if we had Knuble last year, we would have beaten the penguins, and it would have taken fewer than 7 games.

Posted by: pdo3 | February 3, 2010 3:01 AM

To think that we basically "traded" Viktor Kozlov($2.5) and Sergei Fedorov($4) for Mike Knuble($2.8) and Brendan Morrison($1.5) is still mind boggling. Knuble is heads and tails above Kozlov and Morrison is worth much more than we're paying him whereas Fedorov was worth less.

The make up of our team is so much better than last year!

Posted by: Raber | February 3, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Best part of the Knuble signing: it was for 2 years.

Best parts of tonight's game:
1. Pothier's hip check
2. Jose controlling rebounds
3. All 3 goals crashing the net
4. Ovi hitting back 3 times over after getting rocked
5. seeing Chara next to 6'6" Schultz before a faceoff and realizing how ridiculously huge Chara is

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 3, 2010 3:39 AM | Report abuse

sloan is garbage. the guy can skate and throw his body a little, but his decisions with the puck are echl caliber.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 3, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

The guy's a professionial athelete who filled in quite well Sun and very well last night, landed a great hit, disrupted several plays, beat several guys playing NHL hockey every game, cleared the zone, and did it mistake-free from what I saw.

What a ridiculous, insulting comment. I guess it goes with the thoughtful, analytical handle.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 3, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Sloan again had a pretty egregious turnover in his own end in this game. He threw the puck right up the middle to an waiting Bruin about 40 feet out. Luckily, Jose was there to bail him out. Alzner doesn't make those mistakes.

Posted by: thomas20 | February 3, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

@thomas20; alright, there's a mistake. I had thought that was Chimera for some reason. Of course any number of Caps made mistakes last night. (And Alzner has made quite a few in his short NHL tenure). The point is, to call anyone "garbage" at this level of play on this team -- particularly after having a couple of pretty good starts -- is just foolish.

Posted by: Sonyask | February 3, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask,
Just in case you are wondering, you are not a lone voice in the wilderness. King Karl has and will make mistakes. That will happen to everyone. It would be different if Sloan made that mistake repeatedly every game he plays, but that is not the case. If it were, he would not be with us.

Posted by: _Mark | February 3, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

And hey, I saw Flash make a mistake last night. So is he a bum too? Wasn't too long ago people were calling for Theo's head, and look how he's doing now!

Point is, all players will go through peaks and valleys. Relax and enjoy the ride.

One more game without Green. I'm looking forward to his return. Poti has really stepped up his game, which is great to see.

Caps rock!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 3, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

sloan is garbage. the guy can skate and throw his body a little, but his decisions with the puck are echl caliber.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | February 3, 2010 2:22 AM |


Yep- trade him for Lidstrom. What? Why not? Ohhhh- because we need players with his type of contract in order to sign our superstars. Sorry- I didn't realize there was a salary cap.

Posted by: Fro_ | February 3, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I know Green is out but one thing I never wanna see is 5 forwards on the PP unless it's late in the game and they're trying to tie it up.

I think Poti and Pothier are capable of filling in for Green for a few games.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Krejci not giving Theo credit:

“I wouldn’t give him credit for as much as he did,’’ Krejci said. “We took 42 shots. I don’t think he was that good to stop us. We got him to make mistakes, and we just couldn’t bury those chances. Personally, I don’t think he was that unbelievable. I think it didn’t matter because we didn’t hit the back of the net.’’

Posted by: rachel216 | February 3, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

well the Bruins have had trouble scoring all year against everyone and they did miss some chances last night.

Theo was great but most of these guys don't usually like to give the other goalie too much credit.

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I get what Krejci was doing. I dont think it was him saying Theo wasnt good...it was him saying that Theo is not an excuse, and we didnt do what we needed to win...

and I agree....they had that game...they couldnt finish a slice of pizza right now.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Just a few comments:

Chimera is FAAAAAAST. Is it me or does he look like he is even faster game by game.

When the CAPS went up 2 goals in the last period the team "D" looked focused to close the game out. So much so the Bruins announcers made comment as to how under rated the Caps D was and they "closed out" the B the last 5-10 minutes.

I think both Pothier and Poti played awesume last nite. Sloan had a few good plays, but I would rather have him in the press box.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 3, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I think they played as good as they possibly could but sometimes you're just going to face a hot goalie. They had so many quality shots but Theo stopped them everytime. I don't know how much better they could've played but Theo was just in the zone and looked like he wasn't gonna give anything up. I thought Theo was pretty unbelievable, not because of the amount of shots, but the quality of shots. But nothing's going right for the Bruins right now, they're obviously frustrated.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 3, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

they are not your father's big bad Bruins anymore, that's for sure

Posted by: joek443 | February 3, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Sloan is what he is. He's a 7th/8th defenseman that doesn't have much of a salary cap hit. His job is to fill in adequatley when needed. He's done that. He's had some turnover issues and he's played well at times.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | February 3, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SA-Town | February 3, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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