The Capitals blew out the Tampa Bay Lightning this afternoon by a score of 6-0. The story of the game was, once again, Alexander Semin, who recorded another had trick, and Semyon Varlamov, who had his first shutout since shutting out...the Lightning, last November.
The Capitals started the scoring early with a John Carlson slapshot from the top of the circles when the game was barely three minutes old. In the second period, John Erskine continued his run of improbable scoring prowess when he blasted his own 60-footer past a stunned Mike Smith with the period four and half minutes old. That set the stage for Alexander Semin's performance, who recorded a natural hat trick in just over four minutes, including two on the power play to put the game out of reach for the visitors and ensure the Capitals two crucial division points. Tom Poti closed out the scoring in the third period with a slapshot goal of his own. Semyon Varlamov made 17 stops in the victory.
That's more like it. The Caps shook off a cople of rough performances in the last week and built on their win on Tuesday in every way tonight. Crisp passes, finishing checks, and killer instinct were on full display for the boys in red. A marvelous effort in all ways.
Semyon Varlamov is going to make this goalie battle very interesting. Varly played well and is going to make it hard for Bruce Boudreau to sit him if he keeps playing like this. And, most importantly, he is showing no ill effects from his groin injury.
The Caps defense continues to play well without Mike Green, who missed his second consecutive game with an "undisclosed" (read: shoulder, as always) upper body injury, clearing the few rebounds Varlamov conceded and blocking shots. The return of Tom Poti has been huge for this unit.
That's all for now: Next game is scheduled for Sunday at 5 P.M. against Carolina at Verizon Center.
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!