In an extremely odd game tonight at Verizon Center tonight, the Capitals escaped an embarrassing loss with a 5-3 win over the Bruins after once again watching a multiple-goal lead slip away in the third period.
Tyler Sloan opened the scoring for the Caps a minute in to the 2nd period, closely followed by Mike Green, who scored a goal for the third consecutive game. Alexander Semin continued his torrid start with a shorthanded goal to make it 3-0 at the 2nd intermission, and once again, the Capitals had an extended power play to enter the third period, and had chased Tim Thomas from the Bruins' cage. And once again, they fired blanks, and let the Bruins back into the game. Michael Ryder and Nathan Horton scored 55 seconds apart on consecutive power plays to bring the B's within one before Shawn Thornton took advantage of another long shift by Alex Ovechkin to tie the score at 3. In response, Bruce Boudreau yanked Michal Neuvirth and replaced him with fellow rookie Braden Holtby, who had yet to see NHL game action. With six minutes left, rookie defenseman John Carlson played hero again, scoring the eventual game-winning goal on a slapshot from the top of the circle off a faceoff win, taking new Bruins tender Tuukka Rask totally off guard. Alex Ovechkin closed out the scoring after Boston had pulled Rask for his eighth goal of the year, and the Caps pulled out a key win.
Mike Knuble is getting close. Knuble was plus-two on the night and played well in the corners, and was a physical presence in front of the net, which is when he is his best. The breakout game is coming soon.
Alex Ovechkin has got to shorten his shifts. Most nights, his average shift length is over a minute, and tonight was no exception. That, quite frankly, is way too long for someone to be out on the ice, especially at the ridiculously high pace Ovechkin plays at. It's beginning to cost the team goals, as was the case tonight.
John Carlson has been a real find, eh? Captain America was a force all night, playing strong defensively, blocking shots, and scoring the big goal for his team when they needed it. A real solid game from Carlson, and it is sure to be one of many in the years to come in Washington for him.
That's all for tonight. Next game is Sunday at home against the Flyers and Chris Pronger. Game time is 5:00 PM.
Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!