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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!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rapid Rewind: Caps Ride Special Teams to Victory

The Caps defeated the Flyers tonight in a game marked by excellent goaltending at both ends of the ice.  Flyers rookie Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 stops as his bid failed to become the first Flyers goalie since 1970 to win seven consecutive starts. At the other end of the ice, Braden Holtby was solid for the Caps in his first NHL start, making key saves when he needed to.

Nikolai Zherdev opened the scoring for the visitors when he ripped a shot past Holtby from the high slot after a nifty pass from Andreas Nodl ten minutes in to the first period.  The Caps responded with an Eric Fehr tally late in the frame to send the teams to their locker rooms tied up at one.  In the second, the Flyers took the lead again on a Ville Leino goal.  Leino was then sent off for a high stick, and it took the Caps only 24 seconds on the ensuing man advantage to strike, as Alexander Semin extended his goal-scoring streak with a power play marker.  The rest of the second period and third period were scoreless, and both offenses were robbed by timely stops by the goaltenders.  The Capitals were also successful on both of their penalty kills during that time frame.  Late in the third period, Flyers stalwart Chris Pronger took a double-minor for high sticking, but the Caps were unsuccessful on their four-minute power play.  However, right at the end of regulation, the Flyers took another penalty, and thirty seconds into overtime, Mike Green skated calmly to the top of the circles and picked the top corner for the game-winner.

Observations:

Nick Backstrom is starting to heat up.  The Swedish pivot has had a rough start to the season, but is finding his groove on the Caps' high powered top line.  Backstrom posted a two-assist game tonight, and many more are sure on the horizon.

The Capitals have an embarrassment of wealth at the goaltending position.  Braden Holtby was excellent in his first career NHL start, and proved to Caps fans that if Michal Neuvirth or Semyon Varlamov gets traded, there will be a solid goalie between the pipes for the Caps for awhile.  The Caps have three young, good goalies, and few (if any) teams in the NHL can say as such.

As goes Mike Green, so go the Caps.  Since the blueliner returned to the lineup, the team in 6-1, and the power play has finally started to click with him back as the quarterback.  Green continues to prove that he is the best defenseman in the NHL, and hopefully the Norris Trophy voters will notice it this year.

Next game is in New York on Tuesday night against the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist at the World's Most Famous Arena.  Game time is scheduled for 7 P.M.

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