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Tom Mihalek--The Associated Press

The Capitals continued their success on the road with a gritty 2-1 win over the Flyers to exorcise some demons at Wachovia Center that may have remained after their 7-1 loss there earlier this season. After being kept under wraps by Nashville two days earlier, Alex Ovechkin broke free for his 48th goal and goaltender Jose Theodore had arguably his best outing of the month.

Here is the Washington Times recap along with the Flyers perspective from the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.

Pierre LeBrun breaks down the 10 teams he and the ESPN folks believe have the greatest chance at winning the Stanley Cup. Yes, the Caps made the list and LeBrun talked to Brooks Laich about what the team expects of itself this season and their confidence in Theodore.

In case you missed last night's game, here are the highlights.

Early 'Canes Cliff notes
Here's a jump start on getting ready for tomorrow's game against Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost two straight, including a 3-2 loss to Dallas last night, which dropped them to 12 points behind the Caps for the Southeast Division lead. A win against Carolina on Saturday would all but seal Washington's second straight division title.

The Hockey News' Ryan Dixon discusses the transformation the Hurricanes have gone through this season from being one of the easy teams to rule out of the playoffs to now making a convincing playoff push.

Carolina is another one of those teams desperately in search of points to stay in the playoff race. They may have lost two in a row but they've earned points in five out of their last six games and each player is acutely aware of the importance of any win. Take, for example, Cam Ward's 39 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to Chicago on Wednesday.

Defenseman Joni Pitkanen was held out of last night's loss to the Stars with an upper body injury but is expected to play tomorrow at Verizon Center.

In the System
Here they are folks, your Hershey Bears as they stand after the AHL's clearing day. (And the rest of the AHL teams' rosters.)

The Bears announced yesterday that they've re-signed defenseman Greg Amadio to a one-year contract.

As you may have read earlier this week on Mike Vogel's blog, many current Capitals and Predators have some AHL history between them from the 2006 Calder Cup final between Hershey and Milwaukee. Well, the Caps 365 crew talked to some former Bears about their memories of that series.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 13, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
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Next: Road Warriors


So I still don't understand why during last year's 7th game against Philly, the goal against Huet counted when Shoane Morrisonn got pushed into him. Last night's game, it wasn't even as bad as that and they wiped the goal out...

Posted by: rachel216 | March 13, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

uhhh yea...we got viscious jewed...what can we do now...its just like 911??/ ya know it's not legit and changed history wrongfully but can't really do anything about it...the flyers r so nasty and dirty...they'll go in the first round

Posted by: masterx09 | March 13, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I was really surprised the Flyers didn't try and play a more physical game. I thought they let the Caps control the game, and the Caps played perfectly in that role.

As a former Theo detractor, I can say I haven't even had the slightest urge to jump off the wagon and say one bad thing about him.

Giroux spent more time in the box than on the ice - not good for a call-up.

Erskine played a very good game. He bailed out Ovie one time after a terrible turnover right in the slot by #8.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 13, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable, halfway through the first period my cable and internet went out, so I couldn't watch or listen online, and my clock radio doesn't get AM reception, so I missed almost the whole game! Watched the highlights this morning though, and Theo made some pretty impressive saves.

Question for those who watched the game: I know Ovechkin had a bunch of shots and got a goal and an assist, but does he look like he's totally recovered from the foot injury and back to his normal self?

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 13, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I think the flyers did try to play a more physical game, the caps just didn't let it faze them.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 13, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I used to be a theo detractor as well, but I now have faith that he wants to win about as badly as anyone else on this team, probably more.

Our D has been playing so well lately!

Posted by: Ovechwin | March 13, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I thought Ovechkin finally looked like himself again, flying around everywhere, hitting people, and totally looking like he was enjoying himself.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 13, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

@ capsfan26

Yes, Ovie could score his second goal in a diving shot (was not included in a highlights video) but he hit the post in like 2 mins remaining of 3rd period.

Posted by: Hazz | March 13, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, I'm glad to hear Ovie is back to his old self!

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 13, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Perspective is a funny thing. The Philly reporters thought waving off Flash's marker was correct but were wondering where the penalty for goalie interference was; Locker on the air last night was downright incredulous over the goal being disallowed because Nylander was knocked into Biron by a Philly player. The Philly papers were equally as incredulous over the Ovechkin non-call while TEB called the play a "highlight reel effort". Either way - great win by the Caps.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | March 13, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Character win. Great to see the defense and goaltending tighten up. But no end in sight to the secondary scoring problem. Steckel again missed the net on a beautiful scoring chance, and Flash and Fehr still can't get going. Those things have to change between now and the playoffs.

There was a time when Ovie needed Brash as a bodyguard, but I think that time is over. The Wings and Devils don't have goons, and they're not bad teams (7 Cups between them since 1995, if memory serves). Why do we need a goon at all?

Posted by: Kirg | March 13, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

i have stood behind JT all season and told people he just hasnt found his MOJO yet, Looks like its starting 2 flow, just hope he can work on not giving up so many juicy rebounds, if that happens with the nice play of the defense we should go deep in the Playoffs!!!! LETS GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: TracyMD1 | March 13, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I believe the one thing that won the game for the Caps last night was what we have been questioning on here, Discipline!. I saw many many ugly stick play by the flowers and tonight our young guns ignored them and didn't retaliate. Good discipline. We stayed out of the box except for some weak calls. We didn't play into the goon game.

Posted by: CapCenterholdover | March 13, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Scott Hartnell was a non-factor. As much as I hate him, he certainly has the ability to change a game.

I think the Flyers fans know it was a good game, and I wouldnt expect too many to complain about any calls, or waived off goals.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 13, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Nice win last night, great job by the entire team - even Nyls - where are all the "55 sucks" "no grit" "JT60 soft" folks??

Next is to take the wind out of the 'Canes!!

Let's go CAPS

Posted by: Redwolf1 | March 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Nyls was very good...I noticed it in the first. He was finding open spots...long passes...Great to see. I think we need him on his game come playoff time. He has the ability to be very steady, and create great scoring opportunities.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 13, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

@ricketycricket: The Philly reporters thought waving off Flash's marker was correct but were wondering where the penalty for goalie interference was

Then they're stupid or they don't know the rules. If a goal occurs because of goalie interference, the goal is declined but no penalty is called. Check the rulebook on that one.

The reason Knuble sat and the Flyers goal was waved off was because Knuble pushed Jeff Schultz down in the slot, and the whistle for the interference penalty blew before the puck entered the net. (Nice going, Knuble.)

Overall, a solid effort by our boys. The Flyers - not so much. Our takeaways + their giveaways = 39 on the night. That's not how one wins hockey games. Also, with a Flyers loss last night and a NJD win, I don't think the Flyers catch NJ now.

Now, same goes for us. A win Saturday seals the division pretty much, like Tarik says. Okay, boys. Bring those road wins back home and play in your barn like you did in theirs. Get the wins. You don't have to be fancy, just work hard, kick their butts, and take home the two points, and we'll all go home happy. Kay? :)

Posted by: kittypawz | March 13, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Knuble was interviewed after the game. He wasnt thrilled about the call, but also said that he felt the Nylander call may have leveled things out...

Posted by: SA-Town | March 13, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone going to the practice today? I might swing by around 11:30-45ish...

Posted by: MNMNT | March 13, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse


came here to say what you said. perspective is funny. they thought there should have been a penalty on the caps goal that got waived off, no penalty on the flyers goal that got waived off, and a penalty on ovechkin's play. they also said that green was "continually hooking" gagne on the breakaway. i guess there are two sides to every story.

Posted by: sirbobalew | March 13, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse


Dont glorify it. Ignore and move on, or report it...No need to start a discussion thread around it.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 13, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

HBFAN did survive the Philly game last night. Although I was known as Green sucks all night because I was wearing my Mike Green jersey with pride. It was great when the Caps had a perfect Penalty Kill and shut all those Flyer Fans up by winning the game. But what a bunch of babies the Flyers fans are. You should have heard them when they took that goal away. But the justice was the Caps winning. Their chant of the night was Crosby sucks, Ovechkin swallows. But in the end it was Ovechkin who scored the GWG and that was a hard for the Flyers Fans to swallow. LOL

Posted by: HBFan | March 13, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

and rachel,

the difference was that morrisonn is a cap who got pushed into huet. same team. this time, it was a cap into the flyers goalie. opposite teams.

Posted by: sirbobalew | March 13, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@HBFan: glad to hear you're alive and in one piece. I guess it was worth the risk after all! :)

Posted by: capsfan26 | March 13, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse


The Devils and Red Wings teams your talking about had fighters on their teams and didn't need goons because their pugilists were top flight players as well. Shanahan could kick anyones butt, Chelios would drop them, NJ had Stevens... and now I hit a blank..lets see, Claude Lemiuex...anyone care to help me out? Anyway, they didn't need simple enforcers. The Caps have Bradley and Erskine without Brashear in the lineup. If Ovechkin, Bradley and Erskine were great fighters (in comparison) we wouldn't need a goon either. If none of your fighters can win regularly, you're going to have problems against teams with pugilists.

For those who don't think fighters matter, the Ducks led the league in fights the year they won the cup. Other teams knew not to get too far out of line.

Posted by: oo7 | March 13, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

What is the magic number for clinching the division title? Anyone know?

Posted by: RITdude | March 13, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If the Panthers win their last 14 games they will have 105 pts. The Caps have 90 pts. The Caps need some combination of 16 pts that they get or the panthers don't get, so I guess it makes the "magic number" 8 (which is a pretty good number anyway).

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 13, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

After reading the Philadelphia Daily News comments I must say the bloggers there have a lot more class than many of the ones that blog here.

I hope BB and Nyls can find a way to co-exist. Nyls is still a great play maker.

OV defensive play on Cagne's breakaway was a demostration of intensity and a will to win.

Philadelphia papers seem to recognize Semin alert play more than Tarik and the Washington Post.

Philadelphia bloggers called their reporter a homer for his biased article, imagine what one would get called if you did that to Tarik.

Posted by: opita1 | March 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. "

Apparently, racial slurs are okay.

Posted by: caps_fan_in_santa_monica | March 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to those of you who pointed out the inappropriate comment on this entry. We try to read every comment but occasionally miss some, so it never hurts to alert us if you find something that violates our policy (

Lindsay Applebaum, NHL Editor

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | March 13, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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