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Caps 4, 'Canes 3 (OT)

Taking two points from the NHL's worst team shouldn't have been so difficult. But thanks to their second straight sluggish start, an unremarkable performance by Jose Theodore and a bad turnover late in regulation by Mike Green, the Caps needed Green to redeem himself in overtime to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 tonight at Verizon Center.

Check out my game story here, then come on back for a few notes and quotes that didn't make the paper edition:

*After falling behind 2-0, the Caps' rally began in the second period when Coach Bruce Boudreau reunited Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin. The game started with Mike Knuble on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom.

The change had an almost immediate effect. Semin scored twice, including one with .6 seconds left in the second to send the game into the third period tied 2-2. Semin took a game-high seven shots.

"We weren't getting anything done," Boudreau said. "At least these guys like playing with each other, so they might generate something. And they did."

*Backstrom's 26th and 27th assists moved him into a tie for fourth in the league. Only Joe Thornton, Ryan Getzlaf and Tomas Kaberle have more.

*Green's OT winner put him in the lead for points by a defenseman, 31-30, over Kaberle.

*What more can you say about Tim Gleason? The guy took a deflected puck to the mouth off of Ovechkin's stick. The wound required 30 stitches to close, but he strapped a full face shield to his helmet, came back and tied the game up. A couple of times the cameras caught him on the bench and he looked like he was going to pass out.

"Poor Timmy," Boudreau said. "Gleason is a tough character."

*The in-game entertainment staff didn't get an assist, but Boudreau thinks they deserved one.

"Whoever is doing the videoboard did the 'Unleash the Fury' video in the second period and it got the crowd into it, which was a tremendous thing," Boudreau said. "We were dead emotionally. And that's what happens when you play a lot of games."

*Perreault returned from food poisoning and recorded his first point in nine games when he set up Tomas Fleischmann's goal. But, as Boudreau said when asked what he thought of the rookie, his line was on the ice for the Hurricanes' first two goals.

*Boudreau didn't want to comment much about Theodore, other than to say he didn't look comfortable. The coach did, however, hint that rookie Michal Neuvirth will get the start in goal tomorrow against the Leafs.

*The Caps are now 6-1-2 when the opposing team scores first.

That's it from me tonight. I'll check in from ACC in the morning.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 11, 2009; 11:46 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps endure travel problems (updated)

Comments

2 for Semin...

Posted by: newfanofcaps | December 12, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm still awake...Was in the game..

Posted by: newfanofcaps | December 12, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

reposting

VTDuffman:
buying into the threeormore are you?

theo this season:
16 starts -> 8 games with 2 or fewer goals in regulation (4 others at 3 goals)
last season 55 starts -> 24 at 2 or fewer in reg (14 others at 3)


again - he is not an elite goalie - but he does what he is supposed to do
those who just don't like him will see what they want to see - but it is just not true


Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 12, 2009 12:11 AM

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 12, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm still awake...Was in the game..

Posted by: newfanofcaps | December 12, 2009 12:11 AM

...Was in the game..
cool - what number were you wearing - did you get in any good hits? jk - bet it was more exciting than watching on tv

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 12, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

semin's second got us free lasik

Posted by: gocaps01 | December 12, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else pick up on that Bruce said he "chastised" Green for staying down after he was hit early on? Green said he went sort of "fuzzy"...why would bruce yell at him for that? seema a bit harsh and unfair for being hit that darn hard.


that game was uncomfortable to watch for the first 2 periods..but love them nontheless GO CAPSSSSSS

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | December 12, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

10 round shootout dal over sj

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 12, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

your top ten teams based on percentage of points earned per game
.719 Washington
.717 New Jersey
.683 Chicago
.682 San Jose
.677 Calgary
.672 Pittsburgh
.655 Buffalo
.652 Los Angeles
.618 Colorado
.617 Boston

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 12, 2009 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, you are too easy on Green. All three goals were on him tonight. Theo could have helped.

Posted by: daddy_axe | December 12, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

"an unremarkable performance by Jose Theodore..."

Period 1: 5 shots, 2 goals, 3 saves.
Period 3: 4 shots, 1 goal, 3 saves.

Unremarkable? I've got plenty of remarks for that performance.

Posted by: large23220 | December 12, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse

I only caught the OT due to watching the Tivo of the Wahoos win over Wake in College Cup, but mannnn I wish I'd seen the rest!

I'd have loved to see Gleason with the stitches playing it out!

Posted by: TheSuperhoo | December 12, 2009 2:58 AM | Report abuse

1) I love Flash. I'm going to get a Flash tattoo. His face inside a heart. With a bunch of little bubble hearts all around it. And if anybody ever says, "Wow, that's a kind of a gay looking tattoo" I'm going to punch them in the face. Not for questioning my sexuality, but because they don't appreciate the right-ness of such a tribute to the man. God that kid is a badass. Man this team is DANE JERR US! We got so many weapons it's sick. If we can just hold it together in the back.

And I'm thinking I might need to reserve some space on the other arm for a Perreault tattoo. We'll see. That kid is developing pretty well.

2) I have different feelings about jose theodore.

I've been watching the highlights at NHL.com, looking for evidence that he was NOT trying to give this game away to the worst team in hockey. No luck.

The first goal: the great ones find ways to cover that kind of distance. But he's just theodore. I guess you have to call that one a loss.

The second goal: that's routine. Hug the post, Josey! I'm in full agreement with the Carolina announcer: "He's NOT Marty Brodeur."

And I've watched that Gleason goal several times, looking for how that was some kind of supernaturally hard shot. It was shot from a foot outside the top of the circle on a breakaway. If he hadn't gotten it in, the commentators would have said "what terrible shot selection." Theo had the time to react to that shot. But his focus was off.

I look forward to having him get scared of having his career end in an undignified way, like this trajectory suggests is imminent. Maybe that kind of terror can allow him to FOCUS ON HIS JOB WHEN HE'S AT WORK. If he worked in a factory (again, something the trajectory suggests is imminent) I'd care less about how well he's focusing at work. Unfortunately, he's the backup goaltender for the only team I've ever rooted for since I was 10, and I sort of take it to heart when he naps on the job. Can't stand that guy. Him and Nylander. Amazing.

Posted by: large23220 | December 12, 2009 3:26 AM | Report abuse

@large23220
I totally agree with you."unremarkable..."I dont think so.what was it,a total of like 18 or 19 shots he faced.The caps had about that in the first period.I could smell the shizz coming from the t.v thats how bad he stunk tonight.But all that matters is the caps won and i'm happy so theo gets a pass tonight.I'm not a theo hater,i just thought TEB was nutz say'n he played unremarkable.TEB is unremarkable with not bein able to keep his hands in his pockets and talkin with his hands in the air.Watch the video again,its funny yet irritating.Anyway...GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | December 12, 2009 5:39 AM | Report abuse

I think the fans were robbed for not being the #2 star. We "Unleashed the Fury" in the second which was a key turning point in the game...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 12, 2009 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Fans deserved a star. Really it was the video board guy who decided to show the 'Unleash the Fury' video very early in the game.

First, we have not seen that video nearly as much as we did last season. Last year, it seemed the video was played at nearly every game. Now, seems like we get it at less than half of the games.

Second, the UTF video often comes pretty late in the game. But last night they played it pretty early in the 2nd period, when we were down 2-0 and playing flat. The UTF video really woke the crowd up and the reaction from the team was immediate. They stepped it up and took the game to a way, way higher intensity level.

So, I vote a star to the video guy for making the call to wake up the arena when it was needed with the playing of the UTF video.

The F was U'ed.

Posted by: drewapuck | December 12, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

TEB -- I'm with those who think the second star should have gone to the fans. I didn't understand giving the second star to Green -- the OT goal was his, but so was the turnover that led to the GT goal for Carolina.

@large23220 "I look forward to having him get scared of having his career end in an undignified way, like this trajectory suggests is imminent. Maybe that kind of terror can allow him to FOCUS ON HIS JOB WHEN HE'S AT WORK. If he worked in a factory (again, something the trajectory suggests is imminent) I'd care less about how well he's focusing at work."
Personally, I don't know much about the process of grieving the loss of a child, but I can't imagine that the "terror" of playing bad hockey would begin to compare.

This is from my posting from yesterday. "If nothing else, he has been encouraging Varly and mentoring Perrault. (Varly has said in an interview that he was surprised that how supportive Theo was during last year's playoffs). And, in light of being benched for last year's playoffs and suffering family tragedy this summer, I think the man deserves some credit and respect for a professional attitude and example for the rest of the team."

Posted by: miseaujeu | December 12, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Alex apparently hates Tim Gleason. In addition to their previous encounter, now there's the puck in the face. Also, Alex went around him like a pylon for a good scoring chance.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 12, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have NINE MILLION wrapped up in Theo and Nylander. Maybe they should put Nylander in the net. He can't be much worse there than Theodore. Backstopping the best team in the NHL, here are the goalie numbers:

Varlamov: 12 wins, 3 losses 2.21 GAA, .924 save %
Theodore: 8 wins, 8 losses 3.05 GAA, .899 save %
Neuvirth: 0 win, 1 loss, 3.05 GAA, .864 save %

Good luck tonight, Neuvirth. Enjoy the view Theodore. Wonder where Nylander will be watching the game?

Posted by: caps1974 | December 12, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

"an unremarkable performance by Jose Theodore and a bad turnover late in regulation by Mike Green"...my thoughts exactly! But at least Green made it up to us in OT, and Jose can do the same by sitting on the bench for tonight's game! He just didn't look right from the beginning. I am hoping Neuvy can pull a great win out tonight, for some reason the D plays a bit more consistant with a youngster in goal. I see the Bears are missing Neuvy, they lost 3-0 last night. Let's Go Caps by beating the Leafs for HNIC!

Posted by: NatyBG | December 12, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

The numbers say Theo did not play well, but one has to look at exactly how the goals were scored.

1st goal: 2 on 1 that was well played by CAR. Not Theo's fault

2nd goal: Pretty damn flukey. Not as bad as the game winner in the Frozen 4 this year. Maybe 1/2 Theo, 1/2 defense (sorry Schultz- you probably should have been able to play it a little better on that one) I still like Schultz- so no need to further reprimand

3rd goal: Shorty breakaway- can't imagine they're easy to stop. 1/2 Theo, 1/2 PP'ers

Basically a total of one goal was Theo's fault. I don't disagree that he wasn't awesome, but to bash him is irresponsible at best.

Disagree? Maybe I'm wrong, who knows- it's early.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 12, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"Playing a flat game with no emotion" this goes back to the Sabers game as well. I think it is time to talk about having a heavyweight again that is there role to give the team a spark we have 4th liners that only play 4-6 min a game that is the amount of time you give a knuckle chucker. I think not having that role filled on the team effects them. Look at the boost they got from Brads last fight and tell me it is not important to the team.

Posted by: t-bone67 | December 12, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh and Perreault on the set up for Flash? Backstom-esque. Was awesome.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 12, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@Fro

It was definitely a tough game for Theo. The second one was definitely on him. Sure the Dman should have helped him out so they guy couldn't keep hackin at it, but then again Theo should have been positioned (hugging the post that is) so that no matter how many hacks were taken, it should never go in.
The first one can't be blamed on Theo. As soon as Erskine turned around on the 2 on 1, I knew we were toast.
And the last one maybe can't be totally blamed on Theo, but at the same time, that's a tough goal to let in considering how few shots he faced, and how close the game was.
I don't really want to bash Theo here, but at the same time, I don't want to be wishing we had another rookie in goal instead of him either. And as sad as it is, I want Neuvirth in there since Varly's hurt.

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | December 12, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Perreault was on fire last night. It was the first game in a while he seemed to be making an impact. I was starting to worry that maybe his time here was ending fast, but he showed up tonight. Good for him (and us!).

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | December 12, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

@Capcrazy77

Ya, I suppose I'll go with ya on your post about Theo. I guess he served his purpose last night in securing the win- but that's about it. Not great- ok at best. Fortunately for us, the W is all that matters.

But I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Neuvirth tonight in standard definition on CSN+........

One of those nights I wish I still lived 45 mins from Montreal- loved CBC and HNIC.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 12, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh man, I love HNIC. I have to watch the Caps online because I live in the Boston area. I usually do that gamecenterlive thing, but since it's on HNIC, it gets blocked and I have to find a feed online. I don't mind though because they do such a great job (and I get to laugh at Don Cherry for the few minutes he's on).

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | December 12, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Schultz still makes mistakes, but you can really see the potential starting to materialize. It looks like the game is slowing down for him. He's moving better, making better decisions, and his outlet passing has really improved. He's emerging into a top-pair complement to Greenie. In another year or two, the mistakes will be way down and he'll lead the league in plus/minus.

Perreault will go through slow stretches--rookies almost always do--but I hope they keep him here. Just love the energy that guy brings.

Posted by: Kirg | December 12, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Green's play was equally unremarkable in that he was MIA on two of the Cane's goals. The tally should have been 3-1 with no OT needed. It was a good thing to see him bang home the game winner, redeeming his prior mis-queues.

Theodore? ugh. When is he going to "get into" his game? Too hot / cold for a #1.

Posted by: dogdaze | December 12, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

EVERYONE makes mistakes, even the very best players... if you're looking for a player who never makes mistakes, you will never stop looking.

what you don't want is a bunch of players afraid to make mistakes and playing timidly.

Posted by: joek443 | December 12, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Theodore struggled last night, no doubt. But I still think whatever his down time was from a few weeks ago is still affecting him; I don't think he'd have been playing if Semyon wasn't hurt. He looked horribly out-of-sort last night.

It is stunning that anyone is still point out anything about Schultz's play. He as been, hands down, our best dman this season. In fact, last night's first goal was his doing: first he pinched to keep the puck in the zone once, then when the forwards lost it again he held it in once more, dished to AO who moved it to Semin for the first goal. That was on the best example of the night - he didn't not misplay a single puck or player last night and has done precious little wrong all season.

Give it a break.

Posted by: saintex | December 12, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"Green's play was equally unremarkable in that he was MIA on two of the Cane's goals. The tally should have been 3-1 with no OT needed. It was a good thing to see him bang home the game winner, redeeming his prior mis-queues."

___

I really thought that Green had a decent game last night. The first goal, he was MIA because he was knocked out of play, not much he could do about it...Schultz commented after the game that he think the refs probably missed a call on that one (they were not calling anything in the first period!).

After that hit, I really liked the energy and the hits Green started to bring in the game.

The last goal, I think may have been a risky pass, but it was a good take away too...give credit to Gleason. And honestly, that pass may not have been considered all that risky to begin with considering how Carolina was playing in their own zone last night...they were lossing the pucks left and right, at times we had a very good passing/keeping it in their zone clinic last night....

I am glad Green got the OT goal though, its nice when players are able to make up for something they feel was poor play (wether I feel it was or not). Perfect pass from backstrom on that one, as usual! I agree with the poster who thought BMO would have gotten the OT goal, that man is due for one with the shots/chances he has been getting the last two games!

Good teams find ways to win....we played a pretty determined Carolina team (bad record or not), and came out on top...sure, it should have been easier on paper, but they always play us tough on ice. And we came back from behind...even against Ward who looked really on his game for the most part last night, and that is nothing to shake a stick at. (I laughed pretty hard though when I think it was Locker who said in the third period that Ward has a book on Semin, after he made a save on Semin's wrister...I am guessing that is not a chapter book for sure! Because, in my estimation, Semin pretty much owns Ward!)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | December 12, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

No, Theo didn't have his best game last night, but I think the reason he was off might have been that shot he took on the collarbone from Juice in practice. It's been noted how insanely hard he shoots (too bad he can't seem to hit the net with it), so I think Theo might be dealing with a bad bruise at the very least.

Posted by: wocoliz | December 12, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I thougt 52's defensive play was solid, throwing big hits in the d zone. The giveaway on the canes 3rd goal was inexcusable considering his d partner poti was behind him and had no chance to get back on Gleason. Another example of not being aware on the ice and trying to make the fancy play not the right play. I think inthe first goal he was trying hard to draw the penalty vs being knocked fuzzy...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 12, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@saintex

Was pointing out Schultz to make my point about Theo not playing awful. Was 1/2 55 and 1/2 60. On both of them. No big deal. Schultz has been a very good this year. And there's a difference between critiquing a play and bashing the player.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 12, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I like how Perrault played overall with Flash and Fehr, but that line was on the ice for 2 or 3 Carolina goals. Perrault I think needs at least 1 defensive type of winger to help him out.

Did anyone think Fehr was quite tonight? I didn't see him touch the puck much.

I like how Knuble played considering its his first game back. Even without his legs back yet, he still almost scored a couple times.

Posted by: floms | December 12, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Theo needs to sharpen his skates twice a day.

Posted by: floms | December 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible to have a penatly in a shoot-out?

Has is ever happened? ( Not that I can ever remember)

What would happen if there was a penalty in a shoot-out?

Only reason I ask, last nite there was almost a trip by Turco on the shooter......he managed to get the puck just before tripping the player. Turco is a master at stick-checking, he did it to three or four straight shooters trying to deke him.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 12, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Capsfannmiss

Here's Your Answer:
25.4 Violations During the Shot – Should the goalkeeper leave his crease prior to the player taking the penalty shot has touched the puck, and in the event of violation of this rule or any foul committed by a goalkeeper, the Referee shall allow the shot to be taken and if the shot fails, he shall permit the penalty shot to be taken over again. When an infraction worthy of a minor penalty is committed by the goalkeeper during the penalty shot that causes the shot to fail, no penalty is to be assessed but the Referee shall permit the shot to be taken over again.

Posted by: Capcrazy77 | December 12, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"unremarkable" has the wrong implications behind the word. You say that, I think 'he was so good words can't describe it' when he was lackluster at best.

Posted by: breaklance | December 12, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

A win is a win, and we needed to light the fire with a gritty, tough, comeback win against a team that was hungry for a victory. I have to give Gleason the respect he deserves, taking an Ovechkin-brand shot to the face and then coming out and scoring that SH goal was one of the most badass things I've seen in a while.

Posted by: alee06 | December 12, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Knuble was one of the key signings to get this team over the hump. Look at the Philly media right now second and third guessing why the Flyers let him go. He is a class act with grit and character and almost scored several times last night. Viktor Kozlov who?

Posted by: diner99 | December 12, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 13, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse

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