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Caps 5, Islanders 2

With the exception of a brief lull in the second period, the Capitals had an all around solid performance tonight at Verizon Center, where Donald Brashear scored his first goal of the season in the third period to help clinch a 5-2 victory.

"It just bounced there and I went to the goal, and it looked like a big piece of cheese to me," Brashear said. "I was wondering what I could do to [score more]. [General Manager George McPhee] said try to take it to the net and crash there. They could haul you down for a penalty or it's going to bounce your way. Tonight, it bounced to me."

Brashear went to the net, defenseman Karl Alzner intentionally fired the puck off the end boards, knowing it was going to kick back out front. Brashear muscled his way into position and poked the puck past Joey MacDonald.

It was exactly the type of goal Coach Bruce Boudreau has been looking for - a gritty one scored by somebody not named Alex Ovechkin, Viktor Kozlov, Tomas Fleischmann or Nicklas Backstrom. (Ovechkin, Kozlov and Backstrom scored, too.)

"When we get that [secondary] scoring, and it happens to be the game winner and it's Donald, who works so hard," Boudreau said. "He doesn't get the minutes that some of the other people get, so it's nice to see him score every once in a while."

Here are some other notes and quotes from tonight's big win:

*There was some controversy over what exactly caused Ovechkin to miss the final seven minutes of the first period. To me, it looked like he got stung on the arm by a hit from Tim Jackman. After the game, however, both Ovechkin and Boudreau said it was an equipment issue. (Ovechkin said he broke a skate; Boudreau wasn't specific).

Whatever it was, it didn't prevent Ovechkin from logging a season-high 11 shots on goal. He later got into it with Jackman (Ovechkin was called for cross checking and Jackman was called for diving when the two tangled near the benches.)

*Ovechkin passed the puck to Backstrom for an empty net goal in the final seconds.

"I though he was going to give me back," Ovechkin cracked.

*In the second period, the Islanders had a goal disallowed after Chris Campoli's shot from the neutral zone was determined to have gone in off of a linesman's skate. Boudreau said he wasn't aware of the rule that wound up nullifying the score, but he was glad the refs did.

"No, not until they told me," he said. "I had no clue."

*Brent Johnson was really, really good, stopping 27 shots.

*Eric Fehr's third goal of the season equaled a career high.

*The Caps' three power play goals equaled a season-high.

*The 47 shots were also a season-high and the most since the season opener, when the Caps had 43 in a 7-4 loss in Atlanta.

*Alzner on his first NHL point: "It's no goal, but it's nice to get it out of the way. I was hoping for a goal, but baby steps."

Alzner said he also practiced bounced pucks off the end boards during warm ups.

Boudreau said Alzner approached him after the 5-3 loss to Florida and sought some advice.

"He came to me and he said 'I was terrible last game, what do I have to do?' and we had a little talk," Boudreau said. "I thought, again, that's what great athletes do; they redeem themselves. They come back and they play good, and I though Karl, was as good as he has played so far."

*Bryan Helmer notched his first assist as a Capital.

*Boudreau got his first win over the Islanders, the last Eastern Conference team he had not defeated.

*Sami Lepsito has recorded an assist in four of five games since being recalled. Three of the four assists have come on the power play.

*Boudreau on Ovechkin's strong third period: "He is the leader of the team, and so when the leader sees everything else around him not functioning the way he'd like, he has to be the one who stands up and says 'Get on my back and follow me.' He was dead serious tonight and it made everyone else dead serious. They knew this was a business game and we had to redeem ourselves; we had to get this one at home."

*Boudreau on the improved effort tonight: "It can't be a sometimes thing, it has to be an everyday thing. And when it becomes an everyday thing, then it becomes winning four and five and six games in a row. And that's what we sure would like to become."

That's all for tonight. I'll have an update later in the day tomorrow.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 4, 2008; 11:39 PM ET
 
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Comments

Just got home. Quick thoughts:

- MUCH BETTER EFFORT.
- We shouldn't have to horsewhip our guys into performing like they did tonight. Like Gabby says, it's got to be an everyday thing. Granted that tonight was solid, but I'm not reassured yet.
- The hot dogs were gross o.o
- Slapshot &neq; goalie, but my goodness that was funny :D
- What gives on the boarding call on Ovi?
- Our special teams were indeed mighty.
- Donald and Alzner!
- Secondary scoring = - Penalties = - NYI's goalie made some spectacular saves. Kudos to him for good play.
- Hershey done good tonight. Aucoin's chance was good stuff.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 4, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Meh. Stupid characters. *pout*

- Secondary scoring = good
- Penalties = bad
- BJ was hot tonight.
- Why do we never score in the second frame at home?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 4, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Agreed: MUCH better than what I heard happened on Tuesday night.

Glad to hear Ovechkin's OK. That - I admit I missed my perception check on that one, and failed to notice him heading into the locker room. Bad me!

Posted by: irockthered | December 5, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Kittypawz, the boarding call on Ovie was legit. I have a tough time arguing that after seeing the replay. However, the penalties in general were a little excessive tonight. I think that rookie ref got through officiating school on straight C's.

Posted by: MikeM128 | December 5, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I hate to be a jerk, but this sentence:

The 47 shots were also a season-high and the most since the season opener, when the Caps had 43 in a 7-4 loss in Atlanta.

makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by: OvysMissingTooth | December 5, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

I hate to be a jerk, but this sentence:

The 47 shots were also a season-high and the most since the season opener, when the Caps had 43 in a 7-4 loss in Atlanta.

makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by: OvysMissingTooth | December 5, 2008 1:31 AM

Tarik posted at almost midnight eastern, cut him some slack. Maybe you'd be less confused if he'd written, "...season high, surpassing the previous mark of 43, set in the season opener."
Do you understand now, Tooth?

Posted by: Bengt-Ake | December 5, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's my italian twisted grammar but that sentence makes sense to me. And yes, picking on Tarik's late night report is a bit... "jerky".

Posted by: mauree | December 5, 2008 5:44 AM | Report abuse

a well needed victory. now lets win 2 on the road, and re-establish our game.

Posted by: ergoroc | December 5, 2008 6:28 AM | Report abuse

Tarik's comments made sense to me. I understood perfectly.

Actually, I thought a blog was an informal type of writing... Kind of a cross between prose and texting, with an emphasis on content and speed.

I say, "Give the bloggers a break!" I kind of like what Tarik has going on in his blog.

As for the Caps... When they get their injured players back, this is going to be a monster team. The key is to be patient and don't rush anyone back into the lineup.

The goal is not to go undefeated the rest of the season, its to be well positioned with a healthy team entering the playoffs.

Believe me, we have as good a chance as anyone to win the Cup and better than most.

Posted by: warsaw63 | December 5, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Tarik's comments made sense to me. I understood perfectly.

Actually, I thought a blog was an informal type of writing... Kind of a cross between prose and texting, with an emphasis on content and speed.

I say, "Give the bloggers a break!" I kind of like what Tarik has going on in his blog.

As for the Caps... When they get their injured players back, this is going to be a monster team. The key is to be patient and don't rush anyone back into the lineup.

The goal is not to go undefeated the rest of the season, its to be well positioned with a healthy team entering the playoffs.

Believe me, we have as good a chance as anyone to win the Cup and better than most.

Posted by: warsaw63 | December 5, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Unleash the Injury Report!

Posted by: SA-Town | December 5, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The comments made perfect sense to me, too, and I have a degree in English!

Tarik's comment, The 47 shots were also a season-high and the most since the season opener, when the Caps had 43 in a 7-4 loss in Atlanta, indicates that the previous season high was 43 in Atlanta, and now it's 47 at home. What's not to understand?

It's a good thing I don't grade the COMMENTS on here for grammar! Why should I grade Tarik for a slightly-awkward sentence written late at night?

Posted by: irockthered | December 5, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

warsaw63,
Well said and definitely worth posting twice. :)

Now they need to focus on Toronto and keep that energy up. One at time!

Posted by: _Mark | December 5, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

@MikeM128 - did not see the replay on Ovehckin's boarding call, and it happened "under" where I was sitting, so I didn't see it happen clearly. Thanks for clarifying. :)

Posted by: irockthered | December 5, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

@MikeM128: I'm down near that end of the ice, so I didn't see it clearly. Thanks for the clarify.

Agreed that the refs seemed a little trigger-happy, but it's okay.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 5, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

New Blog

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 5, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Brash's goal was the hockey gods' reward for the best shift of the night!

And for the blogger who said Kozlov needs to go. Yeah right! I have never seen a big man who it that good with the puck. Not quite sure what you are watching?

I also subscribe to theory that OV would have gotten into fight had the game lasted any longer. I have never seen him that fed up with all the little cheap shots.

Posted by: psugolf | December 5, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

per the quote from Brash, we need more cheese goals in front of the net. i for one hope the Donald and others will take note and continue to crash the net in like manner. way to go, DON ALD!!

Posted by: doughless | December 5, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"per the quote from Brash, we need more cheese goals in front of the net. i for one hope the Donald and others will take note and continue to crash the net in like manner. way to go, DON ALD!!"

Absolutely right doughless...as a recreational player whose few career goals have been when opponents fail to take me seriously, theI can attest to the value in this.

Every goal scored by a "role players" forces opposing defenders to pay more and more attention to them...thus freeing the skills players to do even more damage.

It's also particularly important--when faced with a tough goaltender--to get guys constantly crashing the net, paying the price, and creating chaos.

A win is a win--pretty or not.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 5, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Ok since no one seems to think my idea of a min GP to play in the playoffs would stop players from sitting out with minor injuries ..Why doesnt the NHL put in a NFL rule stating "If we cut you! We dont have to pay you!

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | December 7, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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