Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 9:02 PM ET, 11/26/2010

Caps near perfect in dominating 6-0 win against Lightning

By Katie Carrera

While Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't go so far as to call it a perfect game by the Capitals, he did say it was "as good as we've played all year." Against a hot Tampa Bay Lightning squad that entered the game winners of five straight, among the top five in both special-teams categories and with two of the top four scorers in the NHL, the Capitals showed how well they can play and earned an impressive 6-0 win.

Semyon Varlamov captured the third regular season shutout of his NHL career with 17 saves, and needed to make only 11 through the first 40 minutes of the contest. But as Varlamov said afterward, the shutout was just as much if not more of a testament to his teammates' resolve around him.

"I think it's great that the team played much better," Varlamov said through an interpreter. "They were really good in front of me, there was never a moment where I was left hung out to dry there. We also scored first in both games I played in and that just gives you more confidence.

"It's never easy for a goalie to have few shots because goalies tend to relax a little bit and that sometimes entails stupid goals. But once again, I have to say there was not a lot of chances for Tampa at all because the defense was so great."

Speaking of that defense, it was a good night for the Caps' group of blue-liners. In addition to each chipping in a goal, John Carlson broke up several chances early on when it was a one-goal game; John Erskine was the physical presence Washington needs him to be and had a tussle with Ryan Malone; and Tom Poti showed the calming veteran presence that the Capitals miss when he's not in the lineup.

Carlson and Karl Alzner spent a good chunk of their ice time Friday against the formidable line of Steve Downie, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis. Both made plays beyond their years and helped keep two Stamkos and St. Louis, who entered the game with 38 and 29 points respectively, from doing any offensive damage. With 11 points, Carlson continues to lead all rookie defensemen in scoring.

"For [20], 22-year-old guys, having the duty of shutting down that line, they did a good job," Boudreau said. "And Carly adds that offensive element as well. I thought he was at his best tonight."

Poti played one of his strongest games in recent memory as well, and had a superb extra-effort play when killing Tampa Bay's five-on-three. He was cross-checked to the ice but got back up and blocked another pass from the Lightning's power play.

"I was really impressed with Tom," Boudreau said."Just his demeanor, you could tell the experience back there when he got the puck -- he made the right plays, he did the right things with it. We missed him for 12 or 13 games."

--More details of Alexander Semin's third hat trick of the season are in the game story for the hard-copy edition of the Post, but by scoring three in 35 days he became the fastest Capital to post three hat tricks. Peter Bondra held the old mark with three in 60 days in 1996. The team's record for hat tricks in a single season is four, held by both Bondra and Dennis Maruk.

It was the second natural hat trick of Semin's career. The first came in the second period against Tampa Bay, as well, in March 18, 2007. Semin has eight points in two games against the Lightning this season.

This victory, however, marked the first time in franchise history that the Capitals have shut out an opponent and scored a hat trick in the same game.

--Marcus Johansson recorded his first multi-point game of his career by potting his first two NHL assists. The first was a clean win on the faceoff that sent the puck back to Carlson for his slap-shot tally; the second was on a two-on-one with Semin when the rookie center waited just long enough for a smooth cross-ice setup on the sniper's first goal of the night.

--Also among the firsts tonight, Brian Fahey notched his first NHL point with the primary assist on Erskine's goal. Erskine's third tally of the season gave the Capitals three defensemen with three or more goals (also Carlson and Mike Green), which was the same number they had all of last season.

By Katie Carrera  | November 26, 2010; 9:02 PM ET
Categories:  Brian Fahey, John Carlson, John Erskine, Semyon Varlamov, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tom Poti  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's lineup: Lightning at Caps
Next: Tom Poti misses practice; Mike Green skates

Comments

Carlson, Alzner. Bravo, Encore.

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | November 26, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

more offense and defense without green - i wonder if that means anything

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 26, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

This evening I am looking forward to the analysis of the players and game by BigGameSid. Where are you, BGS? Sid? Hello? Probably hasn't finished his shift yet at the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Sbarro's Pizza booth near Pittsburgh. Hey BGS, let's hear your comments and I'll take a slice of mushroom pizza to go.

Posted by: AADCDERM | November 26, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

near perfect?

what would be perfect then, 10-0??

Posted by: joek443 | November 26, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

just a great game all around for the boys. i can't believe they kept tampa off the scoresheet during the 5 on 3. a really good team effort for a full game, i believe.

now let's see if we can continue that trend. hard work pays off. good win boys!

Posted by: natresgroup | November 26, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk, are you suggesting Brian Fahey is a better option than Mike Green...?? I sure hope not.

Posted by: tsmith86 | November 26, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

near perfect?

what would be perfect then, 10-0??

Posted by: joek443 | November 26, 2010 10:30 PM

maybe BB thinks they should win 100% of the faceoffs

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 26, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk, are you suggesting Brian Fahey is a better option than Mike Green...?? I sure hope not.

Posted by: tsmith86 | November 26, 2010 10:37 PM

we all know how BB doesn't like change when things are going good. if they can run off another 14 in a row this year - we might be seeing quite a bit of fahey and not so much of green - just saying

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 26, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

So where are all those who were talking about the sky falling down less then a week ago? Also it seems that Varly might have something to say to those who were giving the #1 job to Neuvy a few weeks ago.

BTW only thing that makes today better was Pronger getting called for the "Avery Rule" in OT to take away a win and they lose in a SO.

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 26, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

@old timer hockey (oldtimehockey)

If you wouldn't mind answering a question for me since you love the "all your fault" chant so much...

Why did you yell 1,2,3,4,5 it's all your fault to dan ellis when only 1 goal was his (teams) fault up to that point? End this chant NOW. Instead of "live with it" you need to "move on with it".

Posted by: derk45 | November 26, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Big wins and well played games up and down the organization tonight. First of all congratulations to Marcus Johansson who played his best game of the season and finally got his first two NHL assists. With a couple of goals and an assist Andrew Gordon took over sole possession of the AHL scoring lead with 28 points and is now tied for most goals in the League with 14. Keeping pace is Gordon's linemate Mathieu Perreault who now has 22 points in only 14 AHL games after a goal and two assists in the 5-1 Bears win in Syracuse. For good measure Cody Eakin was the first star tonight in the 4-2 Bronco win over Lethbridge in the WHL. And for good measure all these guys were +2 tonight.

Posted by: dull | November 26, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
What more can you say after the most complete game of the season. Capital Domination!!!

Congrats Semin on the hat trick.

Bring on the Canes. It's been a two point night.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS

Posted by: Jonathan6 | November 27, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I guess this means Tampa's season since they lost 6-0. Just as the Caps season ended on those 5-0 losses.

It was a great win and this shows how well they can play. But just as those 5-0 losses are almost meaningless for how the Caps will play in the playoffs, the same holds true for this 6-0 in.

Judging by the Caps play so far this season. There seems to be more of a committment to defense and to the PK. Both seem improved this year. During the course of improvement there will be some trouble, and there will be some great games too(like this one).

All that matters is how they are playing in April, May and June. Having bad games in November is not the end all. It is a process and it looks like the Caps are commited to the process. I have greater hopes of the Caps advancing further in this years playoffs than last years.

The best part of this past game was that the Caps held the Lightning to only 17 shots. Maybe the Caps should stop doing morning skates entirely. Maybe the morning skates actually have a negative effect on the Caps as a team.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 27, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

we all know how BB doesn't like change when things are going good. if they can run off another 14 in a row this year - we might be seeing quite a bit of fahey and not so much of green - just saying

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | November 26, 2010 10:44 PM
------
Haha, I know not everyone's a fan of Bruce (or Green, for that matter), but I highly doubt he scratches a Norris trophy candidate for a career AHLer. But then again, that's just my humble opinion.

Posted by: tsmith86 | November 27, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

icehammer: Nice to see that Pronger blew it. I was listening to the game on XM and just as the Flyers scored the apparent OT game winner on the PP I was pulling into the parking garage across the street from Verizon. I turned the radio off because the Flyers had scored and I was going to lose my signal anyway. During the 2nd period I noticed they had Calgary winning 3-2 and thought it was a mistake so my son logged on to NHL.com (spoiled kids) and found out Calgary did in fact win. Didn't know what happened until I watched NHL on the fly when I got home last night. I know it's only one game but it's nice to see an official had the jewels to call the penalty on Pronger. He seems to have his own set of rules out there being the annointed stay at home defenseman for Hockey Canada.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 27, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

On the costly Pronger penalty from last night -- well it couldn't happen to a more deserving player, except possibly Brooks Orpik.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 27, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

@tsmith86

I doubt if Boudreau will scratch Green on a regular basis either. Plus, I'm positive that Capt_Kirk_in_AZ was being sarcastic.

That being said, I'm sure Bruce will stick with his new first line -- as long as it's a winner.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 27, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I am very glad when the Caps buy into BB's revised system that allows a lot less shots, odd-man rushes, and 2nd chance shots. I just hope this is the Caps team that shows up for the playoffs. And by the way, the Pens are getting hot. I can't wait until a Caps-Pens game in which Semin, Backis, and OV dominate. The Caps defense played very well, and Erskine is having a career year. Alzner and Carlson played an awesome game.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | November 27, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"I guess this means Tampa's season since they lost 6-0. Just as the Caps season ended on those 5-0 losses."
Posted by: sgm3

Nice sarcasm, great line. I like the new commitment to defensive play. It's the kind of play this team will have to get during the playoffs.
Changing their style a bit is not going to be easy for this team, and it's reared it's ugly head a few times already this season. It is a process. I'd rather take a few blowout losses now than building a team that can't win games in April and May.

Posted by: pga6 | November 27, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Did I call it or did I call it...yay me.

@fanohock1
Not sure if you were at the game last night or not, but LOL some drunk Tampa fan took a tumble in the section to our left and like 2 rows up. He went to sit down, lost his balance and fell into the row below. He was soon escorted out. HAHA

Great game last night boys, keep it up. Ovie, your turn on the hattie bro.

P.S. Met Joe Beninati. Really nice guy and a lot of fun. Short though.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 27, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

either Ovi or Semin is going to get a hat-trick in a 5-2 Caps win

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 26, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

just wondering if anyone saw my post from yesterday....i was feeling it yesterday, just as I've been feeling it for DJK for awhile; time to bench Fehr and give DJK a game

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 27, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

He seems to have his own set of rules out there being the annointed stay at home defenseman for Hockey Canada.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 27, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

For a minute I thought you were talking about Shultz, as for some reason he's been annointed our stay at home defenseman...when we get that shut-down dman we need, it will unfairly be Erskine who gets bumped from the lineup. Why not Shultz? Erskine has more points, fights, hits and is a plus player while playing half the time as Shultz and being paired w/Sloan and Fahey all year...I shudder to think what his stats would be if his and Shultz's roles were reversed

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 27, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

He seems to have his own set of rules out there being the annointed stay at home defenseman for Hockey Canada.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 27, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

For a minute I thought you were talking about Shultz, as for some reason he's been annointed our stay at home defenseman...when we get that shut-down dman we need, it will unfairly be Erskine who gets bumped from the lineup. Why not Shultz? Erskine has more points, fights, hits and is a plus player while playing half the time as Shultz and being paired w/Sloan and Fahey all year...I shudder to think what his stats would be if his and Shultz's roles were reversed

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 27, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

watching that TB team last night, they remind me a lot of the Caps when BB took over...clearly talented, but still developing. Caps better watch their back as TB is on the rise.

Couldn't be happier for the Caps after that game. Playing without Green is really tough for this team...I think that is why Ovie was more or less kept without any scoring chances...when Green is out, Ovie (esp. on the PP) has to cover for him.

Nice to see Fahey get a point...espectially since it was for our team and not the other!

MaJo seems to be coming along...still needs more upper body strength, but he is a slippery little playr when he is moving...he will still have rookie moments, but at least he is making progress.

Posted by: capscoach | November 27, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Well done.

Posted by: pkme | November 27, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

First full 60 minute effort of the year, it was very nice to see finally! That is the type of d that has got to be played in April, May and June to get it done.....hope this was not an aberration and they can play that type of d on a consistent basis.

Great game by MaJo, the kid may be the 2C we have been screaming for after all!

Posted by: PhilR | November 27, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

do they have a morning practice today?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | November 27, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

PhilR: I posted earlier that we might be fine for the season with MaJo at #2C. But, entering Playoffs, do you still want Backie-MaJo-Steckel-BGordon as centers? I myself would prefer to keep Laich at wing, that's his best position, and also Flash, if/when he does play, you want him at wing. And since BGordo is only 67% chance to play in any particular game, it could be that acquiring a John Madden type to use mostly on checking line and PK could be the way to go. I still wish we could have gotten Koivu, would have been perfect, but it is what it is.

I don't think there's any question Fahey is better than Sloan, but I'm still very uncomfortable with Green being injured. Green and Poti have missed, one or the other, almost every game this year. Sure Carlson stepped up but he's still a rookie. We saw how long it took Green to get beyond the youthful mistakes (until the Olympic snub). So, Flash for a vet D man, even if he's just a middle class man's John Erskine, would help during these constant periods of injury.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

tominsocal,

I completely agree that we are still short at the center position and need to pick up a vet pivot prior to the playoffs but I was very impressed with MaJo last evening.

As far as the D goes I was talking about complete team defensive effort rather than the dmen themselves. I have not turned into a koolaid drinker by any means and still do not think the Caps can win 16 games in the spring with this current d corp. It was one game and I give them credit for playing a full 60 while playing very responsibly defensively as a team. I would just hope they can bring this type of game on a consistant basis, something they have not shown since BB took over as bench boss.

Posted by: PhilR | November 27, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I got a feeling Semin is going to explode all over the ice tonight. The guy has some catching up to do and he has been just off a hair the past couple games. He fine tunes his shot and nets 3 tonight.

Caps win 5-2
Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 26, 2010 9:24 AM

Beat you by 3 hours vermontcaps, you copycat. :)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 27, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

SAOTI: Headline could be:

Lightning Seminated by Caps

And this quote by Bouncher in his presser:

"It was a really messy game. Semin was everywhere. There was just no stopping that Semin."

PhilR: We are 100% in agreement. It's funny the way the Caps have done this over the past few years. They go in a cycle, first winning some games with top-flight play. Then they win a few games but with bad habits. They lose a close one, then get blown out and look like the worst team in the league...before rebounding to look like Cup champs.

I've seen it before. Anytime they start to win while not playing well, the bottom is always near (vs Atl and NJ). And then they get serious. To win the Cup, you need to serious enough to win 16 in spring. They need to learn it isn't good enough to do it sometimes and then just declare they are ready. That's what always impresses me about a championship team. When push comes to shove, they shove the best.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 27, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Count me in for me more consistent shoving with a personnel change to help the process -- a bluechip, mean S@H defenseman.

I am also happy that the Caps have a healthy goalie compeitition going. Holtby needs a lot of seasoning, but Neuvy and Varly are a legit pair for the playoffs.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | November 27, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Caps practiced again today...they need a day off! I mean I am all for working hard, but this is a lot.

Posted by: capscoach | November 27, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad they are practicing and hopefully it was not an "optional" practice for anyone! They played a great game last night and the coaching staff needs to drill into each and every player that is the kind of performance that is EXPECTED every time they step out there.....not just against rivals or the better teams in the league. The performances against NJ and Atlanta were and are simply unacceptable for a team of this talent.

Posted by: PhilR | November 27, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company