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Posted at 8:55 AM ET, 01/ 2/2011

Winter Classic: Eric Fehr steps up for Capitals

By Katie Carrera

(By Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)


Eric Fehr hasn't had the easiest 2010-11 season. He's struggled to score and been a healthy scratch four times, including two out of the four games leading up to the Winter Classic.

But on the outdoor rink at Heinz Field, in the rain, Fehr stepped up when the Capitals needed someone to as they looked for a way to put the month of December behind them and start the New Year off right. The first goal won't get many style points, as he fired into a wide-open net after Marc-Andre Fleury coughed the puck up. On the second, though, Fehr fired a crisp shot over Fleury's glove hand on a breakaway after a give-and-go with Jason Chimera in the neutral zone.

"I was definitely happy I could score. That's for sure. I felt good," Fehr said. "The first one felt unbelievable, but we had a good lead going in the third there. We just wanted to play defense, and fortunately, I was able to get that second one. But we weren't really trying to go for offense at that point."

The Capitals focused on the simple style they've been preaching in recent weeks and it worked well in conjunction with the rain and ice that limited Pittsburgh's star players from making any extremely dazzling plays. But in order to erase their one-goal deficit, they needed to take advantage of a few ugly opportunities. Mike Knuble and Fehr did that.

Fehr finished the contest with two goals on three shots and he also blocked two shots in 9:55 of ice time.

"What can I say?" Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought he played a real good game and he finally got rewarded by doing the things that we know he's capable of doing. Then he gets two goals and that's big, obviously."

By Katie Carrera  | January 2, 2011; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Winter Classic  
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Next: Winter Classic: Rain creates a showcase on slush

Comments

posting again. sorry I just had an amazing time!!!

I was in 223 sheltered from the rain by the 500 level above us, we were dead center behind the Caps net. It was amazing. the atmosphere can never e matched. It was great having so many Caps fans there and it was so funny when Caps and Pens fans united to boo a Flyers Fan we all chanted "Flyers suck" it was so nice beating the Pens in front of their fans who were cocky the whole game.

I'm posting pics on photobucket now, it's taking a while but there are at least 80 pictures up already

http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/Margefro87/Winter%20Classic%20Pens%20and%20Caps/

also all the pictures are on my fb. words cannot describe the total epicness that was this game. Football stadiums are the best to have the game in!!!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2055814&id=64200489&l=e640ae76e0

Posted by: capsfan387 | January 2, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

It's funny watching the game again on NHL network and seeeing Crosby doubled over after that steckel hit. Nobody on the Pens bench even cares that he's "hurt". It's like so obvious that they've seen it all before. Hilarious.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 2, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I just viewed the pics from the first person listed. I watched the game and those pictures showed me closer aspects than we saw on the TV. Thanks

Posted by: mfox45 | January 2, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The Caps played smart and with intensity. Erskine getting Rupp to call uncle = super nice. And Rupp trying to pull Varly out of the net and calling "what me" = chump.

Three wtf calls: (1) Laich cross-checked from behind into the goal and getting the sin-bin for 2; (2) Orpik and MAF's rape of MP behind the Pen's net for a couple minutes; and (3) OV's goal getting waived off after OV picked him up, MAF made a save in the crease, and OV shot in the goal from out front. Either whistle the initial interference or let the play go.

The Pens played really dirty hockey at the end, lots of cheap hooks and Carlson (I think, maybe Alzner) getting his skates pushed from under him. Kunitz giving OV a sucker punch in the gut after time expired. Stay classy Pissburgh.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 2, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Pitsburgh were a bunch of babies last night. no class whatsoever. They should be ashamed of themselves. They're a disgrace to the game.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | January 2, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Give Fehr 20 games on line 2 and lets see what he can do!! He is not a 3rd or 4th line player, he is a goal scorer. If any other team realizes it, they may try to trade for him!

Posted by: Freez | January 2, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@JIM

Agree 100% with your point #3 (the OV goal washout). Posted the same thought on the previous thread. They let the play go and THEN decide it's interference once OV scores. What a BS call.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | January 2, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Give Fehr 20 games on line 2 and lets see what he can do!! He is not a 3rd or 4th line player, he is a goal scorer. If any other team realizes it, they may try to trade for him!
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I wouldn't go that far but he deserves 12-15 minutes/game. He's not known for his defense, he doesn't kill penalties. He's strictly an offensive player so he's not gonna get 20 minutes.

They already have one of those players who gets 20 minutes/game in Ovi. I don't think you can have two of those players.

Posted by: joek443 | January 2, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Regarding their next opponent Tampa, I'm surprised that they didn't go sign Nabakov and settled for Roloson instead.

Posted by: joek443 | January 2, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Old Doc Emrick calling Johannson, Gustafsson late in the game. Guess those Swede centers all look the same to the play by play guys and the Caps European scouts too.

Posted by: dull | January 2, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

JIMALLCAPS: I haven't posted since before the game and came on to post exactly what you put. I loved the fight and yelled out to family, "Rupp just said 'Uncle'!" as it was ending. Doubt he used the exact word, but you could tell he was doing a Roberto Duran ("No mas") at least. Vermontcaps had to love it, watching Johnny E. set the tone for the game! Can't say enough about how Ersk has stepped up this year. And Carlson got 26 mins for the shutdown D. Also, yes, the call on Ovi's goal was horrible. They bump and release behind the net. MAF skates back around the net and flops. Ovi then scores. Ovi should have been given 2 for interference behind the net if that WAS intereference (apparently not) or else it was a good play. It seems more like the ref decided the sum of events (MAF out of position, MAF and Ovi bear hug, MAF skates around and flops out of position, Ovi scores) just wasn't "fair" in his book so he blew the goal off. I would like to see on 24/7 what they have to say about that one. The NHLNet guys after the game, Olie and Errey I think, both said the goal should have counted. Good thing it didn't matter!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 2, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

hey if Doc thought Johansson looked as good as Gussy or similar, I'd take it as a compliment!!!

Posted by: joek443 | January 2, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I liked the overall level of intensity that the Caps displayed last night; soccer-style kicks, elbows, checking, fighting. The Pens must have thought they were dealing with bougainvellia.

I also thought the Caps were the speedier of the two teams. Speed kills.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I find this quote from Katie's game article humorous. Malkin complaining how the Caps were so overly enthusiastic about winning the game. Although he had no trouble "over" celebrating his goal by jumping into the laps of his own teammates sitting on their bench. Almost like a Lambeau leap type of thing. Speaking out two sides of the mouth. Oh yeah, almost as classy as not shaking hands at the end of the game. The Pens certainly shook the hands of the Sabres at the end of their win a couple of years ago.


While the win provided what Washington hopes will be a symbolic end to one of their roughest months in three seasons, the eruption of emotion on the Capitals' bench at the conclusion of the game - with waves of players jumping up and down and whooping - drew the attention of their rivals.

"Yeah I noticed," Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin said of the celebration, "because it's just one game of course you want to celebrate when you win, but this is not final. We still play two more times."

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 2, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah I noticed," Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin said of the celebration, "because it's just one game of course you want to celebrate when you win, but this is not final. We still play two more times."
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Maybe more than two times...... ;-)

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 2, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I loved the fight and yelled out to family, "Rupp just said 'Uncle'!" as it was ending. Doubt he used the exact word, but you could tell he was doing a Roberto Duran ("No mas") at least. Vermontcaps had to love it, watching Johnny E. set the tone for the game! Can't say enough about how Ersk has stepped up this year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 2, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, Tom......how can people here not love #4 and want him as a fixture in the top-6?? In Rupp's defense, he is one tough hombre and from what I've heard, he asked to stop the fight because a contact lens was amiss and he had no vision. At that point in the fight, it was knockout or be knocked-out and Rupp was in a vulnerable position. CLASS ACT OF JOHNNY to rein-in the horses. I don't think any less of Rupp, he can still kick anyone's a@@ on our team not named ERSKINE.

I thought #4 should've been 3rd-star of the game. His showing at the end of the game OOZED attitude....simply awesome, and he made be proud to be a Caps fan :)

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 2, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The Caps need to win the next four games to get themselves back in the driver's seat leading the Southeast Division.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | January 2, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

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