The Washington Capitals finally managed to WIN A GAME tonight, taking down the Ottawa Senators by a final score of 3-2 and breaking their record losing streak.
The beginning of the game, once again, was thoroughly depressing as the Caps came out on their heels and were hemmed in their zone for extended periods of time repeatedly. After a miscommunication behind the net, Jesse Winchester intercepted a bad clearing attempt and fed Ryan Shannon in front, who made no mistake with the puck and buried it for a 1-0 Ottawa lead. With all of the momentum, the Senators contiuned to press and Chris Neil dangled behind the Capitals D and fed a wide open Chris Kelly on the lip of the crease for a 2-0 lead, and it looked like the Capitals were going to spiral deeper down into oblivion. The ultimate dagger occurred when Eric Fehr thought he had scored to close out the 1st period, but it was waved off as it crossed the goal line half a second too late. The second period was a different story - I am sure that Bruce Boudreau probably tripled his season F-bomb count in the locker room, and boy did it work. The Caps were flying from the drop of the puck and Mathieu Perreault found twine just 34 seconds in to bring the Capitals within one. 56 seconds later, Alex Ovechkin stole the puck down low and dished to Eric Fehr in front, who slid one home past Brian Elliott to equalize and give the Caps their first real positive energy in weeks. Full of emotion and fighting to break their streak, Perreault scored again on the power play at the 6:55 mark to put the Caps ahead for good. Washington was electric throughout the rest of the period, dominating and generating multiple chances and being continually robbed by Brian Elliott. Alex Ovechkin even had a goal disallowed when he kicked a puck past the Ottawa netminder. In the third period, the Senators came hard and fast, but the Capitals were able to fend off several power plays and Michal Neuvirth pulled out several clutch saves in order to break the streak. Hallelujah!
What a game by Matty Perreault! The young Quebecois picked the team up and had a special game tonight, coming up with two clutch goals and buzzing all night. He created chances, was active away from the puck, and came up big when his team needed him. He's here to stay.
My apologies to Michal Neuvirth. Number 30 showed up tonight after a beyond shaky outing in Boston, making key saves when he needed to, particularly in the third period. He had excellent rebound control and played big in the net. Kudos to Mikey.
Alex Ovechkin is getting there. Slowly. A great pass tonight hopefully is a sign of things to come from the slumping superstar. A date with the miserable Devils should help him.
Caps are back at it on Tuesday when the lowly Devils visit Verizon Center to kick of a big week that includes a visit from the Penguins. Game time Tuesday is scheduled for 7:30 P.M.
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!