THE CAPS WIN!
The Washington Capitals handed the New Jersey Devils their fourth straight loss. The RED HOT Caps beat the Devils 3-1 with Jose Theodore protecting the net in his first start in nearly two weeks. Jose had a great night and the only puck to get by him against his 32 saves was a late breakaway goal in the third period. Alexander Semin left the game late in the second period with an
undisclosed injury. The team said his status is day-to-day.
The Caps scored first and lead all night. Brooks Laich scored his fourth goal with a power play tip-in goal in the first period assisted by Ovechkin and Green. The last three goals of the night were the fifth goal of the season for each player.
Thomas Fleischmann scored with a snap shot goal assisted by Kozlov and Green in the second period. The other two goals came in the third period with the first of the two by the Devils with a wrist shot goal by Patrik Elias assisted by Gionta and Oduya.
The Caps closed out the night with Alex Ovechkin adding an empty-net goal in the final 20 seconds of the game assisted by Backstrom and Laich.
There were only a total of 6 minutes of penalties for the entire game. Fleischmann got 2 minutes for holding, Kozlov got 2 minutes for high-sticking and Vrana from the Devils had 2 minutes for too many men on the ice. There were no penalties in the third period.
Kozlov's assist on Fleischmann's goal was his 500th career point.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1. T. Fleischmann - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
2. J. Theodore - WAS (Saves: 32, Save Pct: .970)
3. P. Elias - NJ (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
Saturday, November 15th against the very same NJ Devils in NJ which will be the only time this season Washington plays the same opponent in back-to-back games.
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THE CAPS WIN!
My apologies - I wanted to get this up much earlier, however, work kept me busy today. This will be much shorter than planned, but wanted to post a brief review in Dave's absence.
The Washington Capitals (9-4-2-20) host the New Jersey Devils (7-6-2-16) at the Verizon Center at 7:00 PM. Tonight is the Caps' eighth home game and 16th overall and hold a two-point edge in the Southwest Division standings entering tonight's game. The Devils stand in third in the Northeast Division after three straight losses. Tonight marks NJ's lone road game in a stretch of six games.
Both teams will be without their starting goalies. Caps goalie Brent Johnson was voted as the number three star of the week for his performances Nov. 3-9 with Stats: 2 W, 1.63 GAA, .953 SV%. Johnson left the game on Wednesday in Carolina with an injury and is day-to-day and may be able to back-up Jose Theodore tonight.
The Devils will be without their All-Star Goalie Martin Brodeur who underwent surgery last Thursday to repair the distal bicep in his left elbow. "According to the doctors, his surgery was 100 percent successful," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. "The timetable for his return remains three to four months."
TONIGHT IS COACH BRUCE BOUDREAU BOBBLEHEAD NIGHT! They will go to the first 15,000 fans in attendance and feature coach holding the Jack Adams Award as the 2007-08 NHL coach of the year.
WAS: D Brian Potheir (Out indefinitely); D Shaone Morrisonn (groin/DTD/OUT); C/D Sergei Federov (DTD/OUT); G Brent Johnson (DTD)
NJD: G Martin Brodeur (elbow); D Andy Greene (hand); C Bobby Holik (pinky); LW Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (cracked orbital bone); D Paul Marti; C Brian Rolston (ankle)
CAPS NOTES - The Capitals signed 2008 first-round draft John Carlson (D) to a three-year, entry-level contract Thursday. The 18-year-old Carlson was the 27th overall pick. He is in his first season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
Help send Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Mike Green to the NHL All-Star Game! To vote, visit vote.nhl.com or Washingtoncaps.com. Don't see your favorite Caps player on the ballot? Write them in online or text their last name to 81812. Vote as many times as you like and help the Caps Rock the Red in Montreal on January 25th, 2009.
Since Dave is unavailable and said I could post whatever I'd like, I am going to do a fun post. The Caps play the NJ Devils tonight at home and one of my absolute favorite Seinfeld episodes is "The Face Painter." This makes me laugh every single time I see it and since we are playing the Devils.....
Enjoy. Happy Friday and Let's Go Caps!
The Caps (9-4-2-20) pushed past the Hurricanes for first place in the division, now leading the Southeast by two points.
The trio was unstoppable, as Ovechkin had a goal and two assists and center Nicklas Backstrom netted his first goal of the season and added three helpers in his breakout game.
There was a negative, however, with all the offensive fireworks. Goalie Brent Johnson, last week's number three star of the week in the NHL, left after the first period with a hip injury. He injured his hip making a stop in the final seconds of the period killing off a Carolina 5-on-3 power play. Jose Theodore, acquired in the off-season as a free agent only to have a poor early season showing, came in after the injury and stopped all 13 shots he faced.
After the game, Johnson indicated that he didn't think the injury was too bad. "It felt pretty bad out there, but it's tough to tell right now," Johnson said. "It's pretty sore. I felt a lot of pain. We'll see how it feels tomorrow, but it's not looking like it will be a long time."
Washington got on the scoresheet early in the first, with Alex Ovechkin notching his fourth goal of the season on a feed from Semin. Semin stole a crossing pass and he and Ovechkin came in clean on a two-on-one, with Ovie burying the puck past 'Canes backup goalie Michael Leighton.
Five minutes later, Semin scored his first of two in the game. Backstrom won an offensive draw, Mike Green shot wide, but the puck came off the back boards almost like it was planned and Semin knocked it into an open net. Later in the period, Semin found Green for a big slap shot from the point, with Brooks Laich camping in the slot screening Leighton. The power play marker was Green's sixth of the season.
Semin tallied again in the second period. Carolina could not clear its zone, with Ovechkin and Backstrom teaming to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Ovechkin then found his countryman in the opposite face-off circle, who one-timed it past the beleaguered goalie.
Backstrom finally put the "biscuit in the basket" as he corralled a rebound of an Ovechkin shot and slid it past Leighton, capping the scoring. The trio accounted for nine shots on goal and each were +4 on the night.
Washington, on a four-game winning streak, has a home-and-home with the New Jersey Devils this weekend. They play Friday at Verizon Center at 7:00 PM and Saturday at 7:00 PM from the Prudential Center.
The Caps enter tonight's match-up on a three-game win streak and have points in their last four games. Most recently, they jumped all over the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday night, scoring on their first two shots on goal against long-time Caps great Olie Kolzig en route to a 4-2 victory.
Goalie Brent Johnson, voted as the number three star of the week for his performances last week, has stopped 102 of 107 shots against since taking over playing time from Jose Theodore, coinciding with the Caps recent stretch of good play. Coach Bruce Boudreau has been quick to push aside talk of goaltending controversy, but the numbers of the two netminders speak for themselves.
Johnson will indeed make his fifth straight start for the Caps, while Boudreau hopes to get Theodore sharp over the weekend and ready for the long road trip.
Offensively, the team is paced, as it has been all season, by Alexander Semin. His 22 points (on 11 goals and 11 assists) and +13 rating place him second in scoring and atop the plus/minus standings in the NHL. His linemate, Alex Ovechkin, had a goal and assist against Tampa Bay, and seems to be finding his legs and some open ice skating with Semin and center Nicklas Backstrom, who took over for Sergei Federov when he was injured.
The team will be without Federov and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn as neither travelled with the team. Viktor Kozlov will return however, bolstering the Capitals attack, and should skate with C Michael Nylander and LW Tomas Fleischmann.
Carolina has a balanced attack, with six players with four or more goals. They have been struggling with injuries, but plan on getting Matt Cullen, Brandon Sutter and Joni Pitkanen back for tonight's game.
Michael Leighton is scheduled to start in goal tonight for Carolina. The 27-year old goaltender is 4-1 with a .921 save percentage and 2.37 goals against average this season and has never faced the Capitals in his career. It will be Leighton's second start in three games in place of No. 1 goalie Cam Ward, who's 4-4-2 with a 2.86 goals against and .910 save percentage.
WAS: PP-24th (14.8%, 9-61); PK-19th (80.0%, 15/75)
CAR: PP-21st (15.9%, 11/69); PK-14th (81.5%, 12/65)
WAS: LW Alexander Semin (11-11-22, +13); G Brent Johnson (NHL 3RD STAR OF THE WEEK; 4-1-2, 2.11, .931)
CAR: C Eric Staal (5-4-9, +5); RW Tuomo Ruutu (5-5-10, +2)
WAS: RW Matt Bradley (1-0-1, -1); Milan Jurcina (1-0-1, -3)
CAR: C Rob Brind'Amour (league worst -13)
WAS: D Brian Pothier (concussion-OUT); D Shaone Morrisonn (groin-DTD/OUT); C/D Sergei Federov (undisclosed-DTD/OUT)
CAR: D Frantisek Kaberle (leg,-OUT); D David Tanabe (concussion-OUT); RW Patrick Eaves (undisclosed-OUT); RW Justin Willimas (achilles-OUT)
Photos (c) C. Nichols 2008.
TBY: PP-26th (14.5%, 8/55); PK-21st (79.7%, 15/74)
WAS: C Nicklas Backstrom (0-5-5, +1); RW Matt Bradley (1-0-1, -2)