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Alexander Semin's game-winning pass

(By Shaun Best - Reuters)

The Caps beat the Penguins 6-3, and so the fourth Washington goal counts as the game-winner. The scoresheet shows that that fourth Washington goal was scored by Tomas Fleischmann on a breakaway about two-and-a-half minutes into the third period. That happened to be the play on which rookie defenseman John Carlson got his first-ever NHL point; "cool to get that out of the way," he said.

But that play was all about the middle man, Alexander Semin, who took the pass from Carlson, floated the puck forward to Fleischmann, then bent down to admire his handiwork. "Like a golfer watching a long putt," wrote Brian McNally, in an apt description.

Plenty of other people were also discussing that pass after the game, so I'll go ahead and provide a sampling.

Carlson: "I was just giving the puck close to the top of the circles in our zone."

Fleischmann: "I saw he wasn't skating, he was just coasting, and I knew he was gonna saucer it for sure. He did it, and I was just expecting their D to pick it up. But he missed it, so it worked for me."

Semin: "[Talks in Russian to a gaggle of four Russian reporters.]

Bruce Boudreau: "That was a pretty beautiful pass. That was just pure skill. I mean, there's not too many guys in hockey that can do that."

Carlson: "It looked like it was never gonna land. I don't think anyone could pass it better than him there. I thought it was just floating. The defenseman had no clue what to do with it."

Nicklas Backstrom: "It was a sick pass, actually. It was unbelievable. It's probably one of [Semin's] best, I think."

Fleischmann: "Sasha just hold the puck and make an unbelievable pass on my tape. It was lucky it went through and I went on breakaway, and after that it was just one-on-one against Johnny and he didn't block it."

David Steckel: "Great [goal], an even better pass by Sasha. If that defenseman would have got any part of it, it probably wouldn't have happened."

Finally, I asked Carlson whether he could have saucered one to Fleischmann like that.

"Ah, no," he said. "No chance."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 22, 2010; 12:42 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Caps react to win over Penguins
Next: Pittsburgh fans and Ovechkin


What, no quote from the equipment manager on the Semin pass?

Posted by: randysbailin | January 22, 2010 3:31 AM | Report abuse

That pass was so pretty, I asked it to the school dance.

It said no, but that's alright. I'll probably go stag of whatever.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 22, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

*or whatever

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 22, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

That pass reminded me of a similar (but even longer) one Greenie lofted over the defense to spring Semin (of all people) on a breakaway last season. I guess Sasha was paying attention.

Posted by: jburksva | January 22, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Carlson leaves the saucering to lesser mortals - he would've faked the pass and buried a no-look wrister FTW...

Posted by: jhorstma | January 22, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Can we throw in what Laucher said about it during the broadcast? One of his typical gems: "HE'S THE KING OF THE SAUCE"

Posted by: goskinsgo | January 22, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: 97fales | January 22, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

That whole play by Semin was unbelievable - including handling the pass so deftly from Carlson [who smartly was just moving it up quickly but it was a bit wobbly, IIRC]. Maybe the most important job of a winger in your own zone is handling the breakout pass, and moving the puck cleanly. BB said it all, Semin's pure skill level is simply off the charts.

I actually felt bad for the Pitt D-man, right as he struggled to knock it down - but Semin put it exactly where he knew it would handcuff the guy. That's a pretty horrendous feeling when you know you're beat and there's nothing you can do. And, then it's Flash coming in all alone on Johnny, to boot. What a play. I love that line, those 2 playing with Laich. Awesome.

Posted by: govtimbo | January 22, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

That pass was so pretty, I asked it to the school dance.

It said no, but that's alright. I'll probably go stag of whatever.

Posted by: JohninMpls

LOL-good one and it sure was pretty.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 22, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Nice pass by Semin. Now let's trade him for someone that shows up to play every night, rather than once a week.

Posted by: poguesmahone | January 22, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@ poguesmahone:
Take your head out of your backside. Semin has been bringing it game in, game out. He back checks hard, he has been extremely solid on the PK and is in the top 3 or 4 in each scoring stat among the Caps. His +15 plus/minus is solid. Semin has really been showing his passion for this team this season and I'm sick of the "fans" who have him singled out as lazy or uncaring, despite his increased passion and improved work ethic this year.
But hell, Bruce heaps endless praise on Semin, so I guess that puts opinions like yours in perspective, eh?

Posted by: Hordedog | January 22, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why people come to this site to dump on the playars - especially when someone has done a wonderful job.

I was watching on NHL Live, where the announcers were very pro-Pittsburgh, and even they were amazed by that pass.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | January 22, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, lets trade Semin. Lets see, he has only been the best Caps forward in the 2008 playoffs and was a beast vs NYR in 2009 playoffs (when he got hurt). Yeah, lets trade a guy who has one of the top pts per game in the NHL, has established himself as a playoff performer, and single-handedly makes the second line into a threat. Who could the Caps get that is better?

Posted by: calhokie | January 23, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Semin is amazing, he moves can sometimes can be better than ovechkin's. Any idea of trading him is absoulutley absurd.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | January 25, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

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