Caps 5, Ducks 1
For about 40 minutes tonight, J-S Giguere looked like he might put an end the Caps' run. Unfortunately for him, there were 20 minutes left to play.
The Caps scored three times on three shots to open the third (all in the span of 2:30 seconds) and order was quickly restored at Verizon Center. Giguere looked a backup again, and the Caps' league leading offense, just as it has for most of January, was unstoppable again.
Check out my gamer here, then come on back for a few notes and quotes that didn't make the cut:
*The eight wins in a row matches the Caps' longest winning streak since they won 10 straight in 1983-84. (They've won eight in a row twice since then, most recently in 1988-89.)
*If you're Florida, Atlanta or Tampa Bay, what are you thinking right now? The Caps have a 21-point cushion in the division.
*On Tuesday, it was John Erskine ending a 109 game goal drought. Tonight, Shaone Morrisonn ended a 64 game stretch without a goal -- with a little help from an old friend. The puck went off of former Capitals defenseman Steve Eminger's skate. Afterward, I saw the two catching up outside of the visitors' dressing room.
*Between the second and third period, Boudreau said he implored his players to approach the final 20 minutes as if this were a playoff game.
"We knew we hadn't played a lot of real close games lately, this was a game that was like a playoff game for us," Boudreau said. "We [wanted to know] if we can play in a close game, get the lead, hold onto the lead, do those things. I thought we did a good job in the third period."
*Boudreau was pleased with the play of goalie Michal Neuvirth, who didn't face a whole lot of challenging shots tonight but was good when he needed to be. Since getting pulled in back-to-back games in the Florida earlier this month, the rookie has allowed three goals on 72 shots.
"I thought he was really good," Boudreau said. "He controlled everything, smothered pucks. We ended up with a lot of faceoffs in our zone, but we're one of the better faceoff teams. When you have that, it's to your advantage. Out of 30 shots, 15 he smothered for faceoffs, which is really good."
*Speaking of faceoffs, the Caps won 63 percent of their draws tonight. Brooks Laich led the way, winning five of six and Brendan Morrison, who won 10 of 15.
*The Caps took 49 shots on goal, their most since firing 50 in Atlanta last March. They also missed the net on 20 shots and had 12 blocked.
*Boudreau was singing Alexander Semin's praises tonight. The winger has five goals the past three games, points in seven straight and is consistently playing at a high level. I've seen just about all of his NHL games, and this past month has likely been his best.
"He's on a roll," Boudreau said. "He comes to play every night and he's doing it with a smile on his face, which is really good."
*The quote of the night, once again, belonged to Boudreau, who was talking about Ovechkin's crushing check Bobby Ryan early in the third period. "A hit, a lot of times, can be a crowd getter inter ...That's not even English. But you know what I'm talking about."
That's it from me tonight. Sounds like the Caps are have a very, very optional practice tomorrow. Boudreau said it might be just him and Braden Holtby.
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