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Caps win fourth straight, beat Flyers 3-2 in overtime

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals put together a strong performance to end their three-game homestand, remaining unflappable despite the Flyers' occasional antics and coming through on the power play to claim a 3-2 overtime win. It's Washington's fourth straight victory and improves the Capitals record to 5-0 in overtime and 6-1 in one-goal games.

Equally important in attaining this win was the play of rookie goaltender Braden Holtby, who made 23 saves including key ones on Nikolay Zherdev and Mike Richards in the third period. You can read more about Holtby's game in this story by colleague Gene Wang.

On to news and notes from the Capitals' latest win:

--Coach Bruce Boudreau said Brooks Laich missed the third period with an upper body injury. "He wanted to play, but the doctors said hold him out," Boudreau said. "[When] he wants to play and is on the bench I've got to believe it's not that serious."

--When Alexander Semin disappeared into the locker room in the third period it was because of a broken skate blade. Semin, who now leads the Capitals with nine goals, recorded seven shots on goal against the Flyers.

He has scored goals in each of the past four games and recorded seven points during that same span.

--Holtby wasn't scheduled to start this game against the Flyers, but here is why the Capitals opted to give him his first start.

"I thought he came in for 10 minutes in another top team against the Bruins and I thought that might have been his nervousness done," Boudreau said. "So instead of waiting until Friday to start him in Buffalo let's start him now and see how he goes."

--The game winner was the fifth overtime goal of Mike Green's career, tying him for second in Capitals history with Peter Bondra and Kelly Miller. Alex Ovechkin holds the franchise record in overtime tallies with eight.

"I noticed that both guys were taking away Ovi I had a lane," Green said of the play leading up to the goal. "Two of their guys were closing and I just had to get it through that slot and hopefully their players screen the goalie and they did."

Green led the game with 30:26 minutes of ice time, the fourth time this season he has skated over 30 minutes in a contest.

--In the second period when one of the straps on Bobrovsky's leg pad came unfastened and the pad was no longer fully connected to his leg, the 22-year-old froze the puck outside of the crease in order to have the opportunity to repair it. And although NHL rules stipulate that it should result in a penalty none was called on the Flyers' goaltender.

Boudreau was surprised with the non-call but after the game didn't mind it too much.

"In the end it was probably the fairest thing to do," Boudreau said, then laughed. "I can't believe I'm siding with referees."

By Katie Carrera  | November 7, 2010; 9:18 PM ET
Categories:  Braden Holtby, Brooks Laich, Philadelphia Flyers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Open thread: Capitals vs. Flyers
Next: Caps' third line finding a rhythm


Hmmmm. Where's "Big Game" to tell us about the Caps' style of play against inferior competition? It's a good thing the Caps got to play pansies like Boston and Philly this weekend. They could never win against the Eastern Conference contenders playing the way they do.

Posted by: columbiapike | November 7, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Great game.

Posted by: Justafan | November 8, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I carried this (below) over from previous thread as this was the essence of the discussion. In this case, I was in opposition to both Icehammer and Capt Kirk. I must add that I have the highest respect for both. Let me just add, respectfully, that if the Democrats and Republicans in Congress supposedly looking out for yours and my needs were to behave in half as nice a fashion as people here are behaving, well, this country wouldn't be, well, half as "messed up" as the shape it's in.

icehammer: Let me say first I have great respect for your posts and therefore consider it a great challenge that you have questioned my statements. Your challenge is why this blog continually draws me back.

Anyway, ICE, the Flyers absolutely KILLED the Caps in the crease (2008) and the Caps did...nada. That was so hard, so f'n hard memory serves watching ShaMo knocking over Huet no penalty. This series was like Redcoats vs Colonists in 1776 and, sorry to admit, the Caps were the Redcoats.

So...when I am like really old, even older than now, and they surround me in old folks home for last words, I will whisper to those who listen that Washington beat Cornwallis and Stevens beat Boudreau.

In 2009, no coach could have done worse than Torts. Boudreau gets a draw. Then we play the Pens and the Caps are outplayed from strategy in the crease. We can play it over if you'd like but I can tell you this:

Game 3, up 2 games to 0, Crosby starts to get his way in the crease just like Flyers had in 2008.


Last year - Boudreau vs Martin. The most lopsided NHL playoff match-up in history when comparing regular season points between the two combatants. Martin simply clogged the slot and stopped the Caps in their tracks. BB and GM blame it on, "Five bad days due to a hot goalie."

Hmmm. What can I say? Guess I'll just have another drink to make that bad feeling inside fade away.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 7, 2010 11:57 PM

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 8, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The 2008 Caps were not better than the 2008 Flyers. They came back from a 3-1 deficit and lost in OT in game 7. Yes, Philly had room around the crease, but the Caps must have done something better than Philly or it would've been a sweep. That was even.

If no coach could've done worse than Torts, then BB gets a win in that, as he wasn't the worst and he led his team(with adjustments) to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

Coming back from two straight 3-1 deficits to force game 7's shows that the coach is making good adjustments. This is the exact same reasoning you use to say BB didn't coach well against Montreal. It is fair reasoning, but it must be used both ways.

Otherwise, you sound like incredibly biased blowhard who will use arguments at certain times to support his viewpoint, but will not use the exact same type of reasoning when it contradicts his side. This is the classic case of a person who is not looking at the facts objectively.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 8, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Tom, thank you for the great kudos. I also respect you opinion and are one of the people who when they make a long post I actually read.

The Philly series, yes Philly did get in the crease a lot and the Caps didn't do much to stop them but on the other hand Philly was very lucky that they were not called a lot of the stuff since we were getting called when we were close to their goalie. If I were a coach I would think hoping the refs don't make a call over and over again is not the greatest of strategies. At that point in time the Caps were also a team that snuck into the playoffs on the last day and would have been the 8 seed if not for the division winner rule. Taking a team like that with many guys playing their first playoff game to a 7th game against a team that had many veterans many not have been the best coaching job but it was not the worst by a long shot.

The Rangers series Torts was having to deal with Avery being an idiot and then looking like one himself and losing his team with his ‘do as I say not I do’ attitude. Bruce kept his team calm and in control even when putting in a different goalie in game 2.

The Pittsburgh series yes we had a two game lead but all we really did there was hold home ice for the first two games. You also have to look at the fact that Pittsburgh had a 3-2 series lead at home where we had a history of failing and he could not clinch it. I find that just as bad as us losing game 5 to not hold on to home ice so the only real difference was the game 7 not being ready but the coach can only do so much to get the team ready they still have to come out hard.

The Habs series 100% agree he got outcoached but I think what happens with BB is the same thing that happens with Semin. Semin was one of if not our best player for the Philly and Rangers series but he didn’t do much in the Pittsburgh series and was horrible last year and all of the sudden he can’t play in the playoffs. In the playoffs he is just like he is in the regular season streaky. He can get hot for 10-14 games then go ice cold. You just hope that the good Semin comes to play in the playoffs. Now I am not saying BB was great in the first two series but he was much better then you seem to give him credit for. Is he a top 5 coach? No but very, very few are and most of them aren’t for more then a year or two. He is a coach that so far has always kept his team near the top for 3+ years. There are very few coaches who have made the playoffs each of the last 3 years and even coaches who go to the finals get canned the next season. Even his playoff record is not as bad as many seem to think. He is 13-15 not great but not a record of a coach who has no idea of what to do in the playoffs and better than many of the current NHL head coaching crop. Look at a guy like Barry Trotz, he plays the kind of tight hockey that everyone says works great in the playoffs and he is 8-20 in the playoffs. Yes, he doesn’t have an Alex Ovechkin or a Semin..

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 8, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

but you often don’t in that kind of a system (which is part of the reason why NJ is falling apart).

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 8, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Katie, Katie, Katie... You've watched enough NHL Hockey so you should know that there are no such things as "rules" in the NHL. There are only "suggestions" as to how the game should be played and officiated.

Posted by: CapsNut | November 8, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Last night was the Caps best, most complete game. I would have written this even if they lost in OT. The Caps played playoff style hockey against a very hot,very good team. They stood up at the blueline, forechecked and cycled, and kept those high-risk stretch passes to a minimum, did not force many. They never had to protect a lead, but played responsibly with few floating forwards. If they practice this style often this season, then kudos to the coach, the captain, and players. They can play run and gun any day of the week, if they need to.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | November 8, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Good game by the Caps, esp. BH in the third when the Flyers were making their run. I didn't think the game was as fast as playoff hockey. More a deliberate, "plodding" style by both teams one not not wanting to make mistakes leading to breakaways the other wanting to keep their opponent hemmed in their defensive zone. Both teams could move fast when they wanted to though. I thought the Caps D, for the most part, did a good job clearing their zone last night. A very cerebral game.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | November 8, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to the coach? Let's not forget last years disgrace in the first round, this coach is a career minor league joke! I love this team and always will, when i was a kid we had season tickets at the old Capital center, it was great, but this team is built for the regular season and this coach is a clown who appears to be attempting to cash in on every opportunity he gets with his dumb commercials appearing everywhere. This coach continues to play that waste of cap space Flush who is a ghost when the games get rough and Boyd Gordon what does he bring? Remember there is a reason that this goof spent around 30 years in the minors and if he is still around come playoff time, he had better call his friend Hadeed for more work because unfortuantely this team will never win the cup as long as BB is the coach! Dale Hunter or Pat Quinn for coach not only will they win, but the team will be tough and these professional coaches won't be doing bird calls for money. i can't believe i am still angry even after a big win, but I know that it will be short lived come playoff time and if your not going to play DJ King, please trade him to a team that wants a tough guy, granted he's not the best player, but when you don't put him in the line-up when your playing the Flyers, then why even have him?

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | November 8, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Boyd Gordon has the 3rd line playing a good defensive game, better than Flash by a mile as a shut-down line center.

I have been very critical of BB for not adjusting, but now he is adjusting, so credit given for what I have been clamoring for.

Pat Quinn, no thanks. Dale Hunter, unproven above the juniors as a coach. I loved Hunter as a player, but not sure he has the bona fides as an NHL coach. I could see Larry Robinson or another coach who is innovative and a good disciplinarian. That being said, BB is improving at improvising and disciplining. Look at the new PK and more defensive minded system for innovation. Look at benching Fehr for disciplining.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | November 8, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Put DJ King in? Did you not watch the Toronto game? He f'ed up so many times, he probably should not be playing again. Hunter for coach? So, I guess you like goons? The 80s are over pal.
Maybe Bruce is actually trying to get noticed in this football town... Maybe that's what Ted and GM wants him to do to make hockey more popular in this area... you think Bruce needs the money?
See, comments like those is is why other fans think Washington sports fans are a joke... especially Washington hockey fans.

Here was another comment from a few days ago: "Watching the mismanagement of this team after all of those "Abe" years is getting depressing."

What the F did Abe do? Seriously, what did he win? What did he accomplish?

Oddly enough, that was the same guy who posted Backstrom is sand-bagging the coach and that is why he is not playing well. Seriously?

Posted by: _828 | November 8, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Holtby reminds me of Olie in stature and movement.

Posted by: rh71 | November 8, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I have been very critical of BB for not adjusting, but now he is adjusting, so credit given for what I have been clamoring for.

Pat Quinn, no thanks. Dale Hunter, unproven above the juniors as a coach. I loved Hunter as a player, but not sure he has the bona fides as an NHL coach. I could see Larry Robinson or another coach who is innovative and a good disciplinarian. That being said, BB is improving at improvising and disciplining. Look at the new PK and more defensive minded system for innovation. Look at benching Fehr for disciplining.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | November 8, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear you say this @JIMetc. We've been making adjustments from the start of the season on D and the PK, and we've just done a solid job shutting down two hot teams with a defensive corps that draws the derision of many.

Is it our defense or our coach who's doing a gawdawful job, or are we justperhaps playing a more effective game than the 7-5 wins we put together last year?

Posted by: Justafan | November 8, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

@Phil..are you really this cynical or are you a troll? this is the most exciting teamthe Caps have evrplace on the ice and I have beeen going to games siince of my favorite coaches was Schoenfeld, he played & coached old school hockey, but I am a convert and one who believes the team can find a way to win in the playoffs with the proper balance of defense first to ignite their offense...did you watch Gordon the past two games? his line with Fehr and Chimera was one of the betson the ice , very competitive and they shut down Boston's top line, plus winning a face off that led to Carlson's goal? Really I do not know what the whiners and haters really want? the team is again first in the East, playing better D, getting valuable time for 2 rookie goalies and 2 rookie D men, Fk
lash has been servicible on the 2nd line, chipping in a few points, and playing pretty well defensively. Do I wish he played even better D, yes, do I wish he was 2 inches and 20 pounds heavier, yes...but this is the team we have, they are a very good team as this weekend games against two of the better more physical teams we need King...No!!!, he can't skate and is there for one thing...I have never enjoyed watching two goons have a set up fight...give me a Shanahan, a Cam Neely a Probert, someone who can skate, score hit and drop them if necessary, a strictly goon type of player in today's NHL is like the Geico caveman lacing on skates...ok rantover back to work

Posted by: boomer44 | November 8, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

boomer44: The only thing that will shut them up is a Stanley Cup win.

For example, against the Bruins all the naysayers could harp on was them losing the 3 goal lead. Neuvy giving up 3 goals on 3 shots, and playing pass instead of focusing on Thorton wasn't really mentioned. The Caps then tightened things up and took the game. When the Caps have a 3rd period like Boston did they are knocked for waiting until the 3rd to play hockey and it is pointed out that they didn't deserve to win. When a team like the Bruins do it, it is because their team, and the Julien is better. I watched the Boston broadcast on Saturday, when they played the Blues, and those guys had nothing but praise for the Capitals. They also stated that BB connects with his players and that it is obvious the players are buying in to what he is teaching. The cynics, say the complete opposite.

Yesterday's game. Well, after the 2nd, win or lose, I was very happy with the game. Two of the best teams in the NHL played a very tactical game. Yes the Flyers were playing their 3rd game in 4 days, but the Caps played their 3rd in 5 days. Philly is just up the road so it isn't like they had some taxing road trip. Anyhow, the Caps did benefit from late penalities. The cynics will say we were lucky, but when the Caps take late penalties the cynics say it is because the opponent was working hard and drew the penalties due to lack of effort by the Caps. Hmm, why can't they say the same when the Caps are on the right end?

Like I said though, it doesn't matter what the Caps do this season. They will be judged by the cynics solely on their playoff performance which I believe will be srutinized even if they lose in the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 8, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

sgm: "Blowhard?" You can be nicer than that. It isn't like I'm cstanton.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 8, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1, could not agree more...

I said the same thing a while a go. If the Caps won the first 10 games, but the opponent scored 5+ goals a game, the cynics would say the defense sucks, and they should not be undefeated... now, the Caps are playing some pretty good D (top 10 goals against) and people still have issues with BB and his "system".

People should look at BB's record against some of these top teams (Pens, Flyers, Boston, NJ, etc). What other coach in Caps history has had that good of a record against those teams?

Posted by: _828 | November 8, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

DJ King...pfffffffft

Posted by: Jaymagz | November 8, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

In the olden days, Caps record would be 5-4-5.

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | November 8, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I hope all of you are enjoying the style of play, this is the new and improved Caps. BB and the team have accepted the fact that playing defense first wins. Sound defense, good outlets, transition. Cycle & forecheck when the outlets aren't there. This is the formula.
Right now Semin is a complete package, forecheck, going to the net, screening, PK added to the already great shot. If he plays this way in the playoffs (big if) he will not get cold. Please, please tell me this isn't a salary year push!

Posted by: chriscaps | November 8, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I happen to like the old time hockey and love Dale Hunter, it is sad but true that the majority of the young Tards that have commented on this topic have grown up playing ice hockey on the nintendo or playstation and never even strapped on the skates and stepped onto the ice. This is North American hockey, if you want to watch euro hockey, tell your parents to upgrade the DirecTV package so that you can watch the free flowing game full of floaters in europe. when the euro Caps fall apart again in the playoffs because BB can't adjust or players like Flush and Semin are afraid to go to the net, then let the tears flow. Remebember this BB spent approx. 30 years in the minors for a reason and Semin's contract is up at the end of the season. i have a right to my opinion i have had season tickets for 12 years and my Dad has had them from the beginning, as a matter of fact I played for the little Caps in the 80's and some college hockey, so i think i know a little about the game but not so much about playstation.

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | November 8, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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