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Caps 5, 'Canes 1

Just how dominant was the Alexander Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Alexander Semin line tonight? Well, they were on the ice for all five goals in the Caps' 5-1 victory over the 'Canes, which gave Washington sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division.

Consider these stats:

Semin -- 2 goals, 3 assists, plus-4, 2 shots on goal. (Now that's efficient).
Ovechkin -- 1 goal, 2 assists, plus-4, 5 shots on goal.
Backstrom -- 1 goals, 3 assists, plus-4, won 4 of 6 faceoffs.
Mike Green -- 1 goal, 1 assist, plus-4, 5 shots on goal.
Jose Theodore -- 13 shots faced, 13 shots stopped.

All around, it was probably the Caps' best 60-minute effort of the season, even though only five players contributed on the scoresheet.

Some other notes and quotes:

*Semin took the NHL scoring lead from Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin. Semin now has 27 points to Malkin's 24. He also leads the league with 13 goals and has 17 career goals against 'Canes.

*Ovechkin has scored in consecutive games for the first time this season.

*Backstrom's goal was his first in the regular season in 21 games. Afterward I asked him if he would sleep any better now, and he cracked: "Maybe I will get nine hours rather than seven hours."

*Theodore, who had not played since getting blown out 5-0 in Buffalo, was awarded the hardhat for his effort.

*Eric Staal's pointless drought grew to five games. He was really snakebit tonight. The 'Canes center missed a few golden chances, including a 2-on-0 where he jammed the puck into Theodore's outstretched pad.

*Boudreau wasn't about to complain about the cuteness of the Semin-Backstrom-Ovechkin line, not tonight.

"They can be cute if they are going to get five goals a night," he said. "You can tell the potential they have when they are on top of their game. And all three were on top of their game tonight."

*Milan Jurcina has had better nights. He was assessed three separate minor penalties and just, in general, struggled.

*The Caps have outscored opponents 8-1 in the first period the past three games.

*'Canes Coach Peter Laviolette, meantime, wasn't impressed with his team's effort.

"We gave them the first four goals and we turned the puck over twice," he said. "We had a miscoverage. We miscovered 5 on 5, miscovered on the penalty kill and it was 4-1. We didn't play very well after that."

*Boudreau said a decision has not been made as to whether a goaltender will be called up. If someone does get the call, I'll update first thing tomorrow morning from KCI.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 12, 2008; 11:22 PM ET
 
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Comments

Thanks for the report.That was a fun game to watch. I quite enjoyed the confused look on Eric Staal's face.

Posted by: uncatim | November 12, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I was proud of Theodore's effort tonight -- he made some excellent saves.

In general, though...WOW. What a game! The Caps dominated that game like none in recent memory.

And Carolina was pretty bad, too.

Also, I thought Ovechkin should've had 4 points tonight. I thought he assisted on Green's, Backstrom's, and Semin's second goals. Maybe not, but I thought so...

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 12, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

-If a goalie is coming up it's gotta be Cheeser, right?

-"Milan Jurcina has had better nights."
Has he though? The end is in sight for old Juice. It's been fun but...wait it hasn't been fun at all

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 13, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Will Fedorov replace Backstrom on the top line when he comes back?

Just curious.

Posted by: ken21 | November 13, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

As a Bears/Caps fan, I am torn. Varlamov has played better than Machesney quite frankly and I would like to see more of him. Machesney has looked lost. Hopefully if he is called and has to play he will play much better than he has been.

GREAT game tonight guys

Posted by: jbears1 | November 13, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Juice! I'm not thrilled about that delay of game rule. Most of the time, its crap. I had little problem with his 3rd penalty. There was a day not long before when that would have just been called 'hockey'. So what, he manhandled a star player that he felt was disrespecting his goalie. He has to establish a presence in the NHL if he's going to be a physical stay at homer, right? We were ahead anyway. I've seen enough pitter pattering. This team needs some grit, some anger. Like that crazy man in the wheelchair in Dodge Ball said, "you gotta get angry! You gotta get mmmeeeeaann."
Beating Staal about the head sounds like a good place to start. It was my favorite thing Juice has done all season.

: )

My heart and head are still with Johnny.

Posted by: oo7 | November 13, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

its my understanding that the hard hat is not awarded each night by Clark, but by the guy who won it the previous game. Clark gave it out the first night but its just being passed around after that.

I only got to watch the first two periods as I had to leave for a game of my own but we looked better than we had all season long. The score could have been a lot higher as several players JUST missed.

I also got the feeling that after we got a comfortable lead, Ovechkin and Semin were force feeding Backstrom a little trying to get him to break through on the goal scoring side of things. I didn't see the fifth goal but I guess it worked.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | November 13, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

and I have no problem with Juice's third penalty. Staal deserved what he got. Is it just me or do all of the staal brothers look like they grew up in the village of the damned?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | November 13, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SombreroGuy | November 13, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"Flavor of the Game"
http://hurricanes.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?type=fvod&id=849&tab=5

Probably the happiest highlight ever from a team that lost 5-1

Amazing game between Vancouver and Colorado right now. Best 1-1 game I can remember

Our D could stand to see some of the choices these D men are making. The O's n goalies ain't slouching either.

The only goals have come on a penalty shot and when a goalie's teammate went down injured right in front of him in the crease.

Posted by: austinsteve | November 13, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Laviolette is FINISHED, bank on it.

Posted by: Cheef | November 13, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

This Semin guy is pretty good, eh?

Feel bad for Johnny. He finally gets to start regularly and this happens. Jose didn't screw it up though. Maybe Johnny becoming #1 for a while is what he needed.

Posted by: ranndino | November 13, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, thanks so much for the post-game reports.

Keeping up-to-date with the Capitals from 600 miles away has never been easier.

I hope to attend the next Caps-Canes game in Raleigh, in early December. It'd be my first trip to RBC.

Posted by: Cerealman | November 13, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I love the quote.."We gave them the first 4 goals."

It's alwasy fun to blame yourself, and not give any credit..a'la Sidney Crosby.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 13, 2008 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Peter Laviolette, you guys GAVE us 4 goals...idiot...canes played horrible, give the Caps credit...

"We didn't play very well after that."
-canes played bad all 60 minutes...

Posted by: rachel216 | November 13, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone looked at the NHL All-Star voting totals? Voting just opened and it looks like the Montreal fans are committed to dressing their starting six for the game there.

Posted by: ThomasJefferson | November 13, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Its no longer OV vs Crosby... Its the Alex's vs Crosby and Malkin.... (I was bored)

Crosby/Malkin stats
9 - Goals
22 - Primary assists
12 - Secondary assists
+9 - plus/minus
113 - Shots on goal
7.9% - Shooting %

Ovechkin/Semin
17 - Goals
17 - Primary assists
6 - Secondary assists
+29 - plus/minus
108 - Shots on goal
15.7 - Shooting %

Ovechkin significantly brings down the shooting %, as he is only at 6.6%, while Semin is at a 27.7% clip.

Posted by: JSchon | November 13, 2008 7:16 AM | Report abuse

From OFB's impressions, and I couldn't agree more:

"Mike Green does have a young, aggressive offensive defenseman's propensity to cough up the puck, but he's now a +10 on the young season. He is a joy to watch play. Please, please, let us not Larry Murphy (NHL Hall of Famer) him."

Posted by: Section117 | November 13, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

And, to all the M.Green haters...

He is 2nd in the league for defensemen in plus/minus @ +10...

He is 8th in the leagues in scoring, 2nd in goals, 2nd in shots, 5th in TOI.

Kronwall, Lidstrom and Rafalski are combined +3.

Posted by: JSchon | November 13, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Funny Section 117...

Both writing M.Green comments at the same time...

Posted by: JSchon | November 13, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I was annoyed with Jurcina's third penalty on the night at first, but I didn't see who it was that he hit like that. If it was the same guy who was trying to jam into Johnson, then no issues. He deserved it, and it was definitely a nice hit.

We do need to stay out of the penalty box more, though. :P Johnson getting hurt is absolutely not cool, though. Keep us informed.

Hey JSchon, I kept your little 50 things list and I've got some updates, but are you planning to post it again? If not, I will.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 13, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

send it away kittypaws

Posted by: JSchon | November 13, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

(Responding to previous posts)

RE: the Carolina announcers harping on Semin's English (or lack thereof), Joe and Locker were talking about it, too!

Semvechkin:
I think the hard hat is awarded from the player who previously won it (Clark just got it started).

Kitty:
I agree - too many (stupid) penalties. But other than that, great game!

Joe:
I wonder if Jose played better because sitting for a bit made him realize that #1 was on the line?

Posted by: Boo- | November 13, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz -- Stahl had iced and kicked Theodore, not Johnson. Johnson was already sidelined from being run over by the Canes during the end of period scrum. Stahl was acting like a punk for not scoring on the 5-3 pp on those 3 backdoor chances. Juice did the right thing to protect his goalie. The refs allowed Carolina to beat on the Caps goalies without calling roughing or interference.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 13, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

JSchon’s 50 Things to expect at times this season.
50. We will lose games - ATL 10/10
49. Ovechkin will not score - ATL 10/10
48. Someone will get hurt - VAN 10/13 (Kozlov)
47. Semin will have a defensive lapse
46. Schultz will look flatfooted - CAR 11/12
45. Poti will take 2 dumb penalties in 1 game
44. Alzner will look like a rookie at times
43. You'll scream for Backstrom to shoot instead of pass - CAR 11/6
42. Green will get caught way out of position - ATL 10/10
41. Kozlov will annoy you for not being more physical - ATL 10/10
40. Flash will get knocked off of the puck - ATL 10/10
39. Brashear won’t fight when you want him to - ATL 10/10
38. Bradley will fight when you don’t want him to
37. Semin will toe-drag excessively
36. We'll lose a game we had no excuse losing - ATL 10/10
35. We'll win a game we had no right winning
34. Theodore will let in a softy - ATL 10/10
33. We'll start off slow - ATL 10/10
32. We'll have defensive lapses - ATL 10/10
31. We'll go 0 for on the PP - CHI 10/11
30. Bourque will play on the big team NJD 10/18
29. Lepisto will play for the big team
28. We'll lose in OT – NJD 10/18
27. We'll get shutout - BUF 11/1
26. We'll look bad - ATL 10/10
25. We'll look unbeatable - VAN 10/13
24. We'll embarrass some teams - VAN 10/13
23. Semin will amaze us with his skill - VAN 10/13
22. Ovechkin will score a hattrick
21. Green will skate through an entire defense
20. Laich will go to the butcher - CHI 10/11
19. Boudreau will look like a genius - VAN 10/13
18. Theodore will win us a game – NSH 10/28
17. Our defense will win us a game - VAN 10/13
16. Clark will take a puck somewhere he doesnt want too
15. Alzner will make all of us believers in him
14. Nylander will cut up a defense - VAN 10/13
13. Backstrom to Ovechkin will be heard multiple times a game - CAR 11/12
12. We will sell out at the phonebooth - CHI 10/11
11. Other people will take notice
10. We will thank Fedorov for coming back another year - VAN 10/13
9. Schultz will crush someone
8. Alzner and Green will skate together
7. We will see Ovechkin/Fedorov/Semin - CAR 11/6
6. Brashear/Steckel/Bradley will be the best line on the ice - CHI 10/11
5. Chief will complain about management - Everyday
4. Wendel will ask why arent we playing Laing - Everyday
3. smartfan will sound really dumb - Everyday
2. People in here will overreact to negatives - Everyday
1. People in here will overreact to negatives - Everyday

BTW SombreroGuy - Backstrom's goal was a scooped-up deflection from a failed Ovi try. Wasn't exactly a tip-in but wasn't a one-timer either.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 13, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, JIMALLCAPS - I missed the beating on Theodore part, but fair enough. My point remains.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 13, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Did I fail to mention that JT had already clearly iced the puck ala turtle and the refs whistled the play dead? How about those attacks on OV during the 1st period ending scrum? He knocked the Cane whacking at Johnson's leg to the ice and 3 Canes jumped OV. Not the best officiating in my book

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 13, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz -- your point does remain, indeed

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 13, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Oops! I repeated Sombrero - his insight really IS invaluable!! ;-) (BTW Sombrero, I have always wondered who/what the Staal boys look like ... I could never put my finger on it, but you just may have!).

uncatim:
Staal did look confused, didn't he? After watching his brother play the night before, he was probably feeling the pressure!! ;-)

Posted by: Boo- | November 13, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow, did everyone in Montreal already use up their 20 votes? The Alexs are just behind.

Posted by: koalatek | November 13, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Funny Section 117...

Both writing M.Green comments at the same time...

Posted by: JSchon | November 13, 2008 7:50 AM
-------------------------------------------
Great minds amigo.

Posted by: Section117 | November 13, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Kittypawz -

#35 Pittsburgh 10/16 - if anyone thinks we "should've" won that game after being down 3-0 to the Pens at home, you need to check your meds.

-Wittcap

Posted by: floyd1079 | November 13, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Thought I might've missed one. Thanks!

Posted by: kittypawz | November 13, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

re: all star votes.
looks like pens fans haven't been allowed to use their parents computers yet. malkin and crosby way down the list.

i wrote in tyler sloan for d man. lets hope he plays the minimum 20 games to be eligible. he could be the rory fitzpatrick of this year. VOTE TYLER!!

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 13, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

When Fedorov comes back...

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin
Flash/Nylander/Kozlov
Laich/Steckel/Fehr
Brashear/Gordon/Clark/Bradley

Green/Schultz
Poti/Fedorov
Erskine/Sloan

Posted by: JSchon | November 13, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

JSchon: I'm not sure I'd break up the Poti/Sloan pairing, myself. It seems to work out really well, and the one time they paired Feds with Erskine, I seem to recall that it worked out pretty well.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 13, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Last nite was a pretty awesume game. Juice had a not so outstanding game, and Sloan was just behind him in that department. He had a few BAD give aways. But Sloan also is good at picking his spots to jump into the play and he does body check. Green is maturing in the "D" zone.

For the most part it takes a NHL defenceman 150 games to get accustomed to the speed,play at that level.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | November 13, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Not surprised people are talking up Green after a good offensive game, even though he was still awful defensively. Oh well, the luxury of having Jeff Schultz covering you defensively will do wonders for negating your gaffes.

The goalie situation is disheartening - they can't call anyone up without sending someone down. If Morrisonn is healthy, that's not a problem since they can send Sloan down (he was exposed badly last night). Likewise Fedorov. With the roster as currently constituted, they can not fit another goalie under the cap. It is going to take someone being sent down, traded, or put on LTIR for them to free up the space to bring in another netminder.

Posted by: AngryNomad | November 13, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Semin sucks

He is an overrated *****

He sucks last year, and everyone said he is a waste of money. Now everyone would like to kiss his ***

Capts will finish 7th and get kick out of playoff by Flyers once again

Washington : city of loosers

Posted by: PaulMorin88 | November 13, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Semin sucks
He is an overrated *****
He sucks last year, and everyone said he is a waste of money. Now everyone would like to kiss his ***
Capts will finish 7th and get kick out of playoff by Flyers once again
Washington : city of loosers"

Okay, Mr Crosby. If you're going to post here, at least use SpellCheck and you're real name.


Posted by: orson72 | November 13, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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