Game 41 Review: Theo Does It Again

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, January 07, 2009 | , , , , | 0 comments »

Jose Theodore made 33 saves, including all three shots in a shootout, and the Washington Capitals (27-11-3, first in Southeast) defeated the Philadelphia Flyers (21-10-9, second in Atlantic), 2-1 before a playoff-intense capacity crowd at the Verizon Center.

Viktor Kozlov beat Flyers goalie Martin Biron (33 saves) on the first shot in the shootout, and the rest was all Theodore. The resurgent netminder stoned Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter on successive shots to cement the victory and exact a measure of revenge for the 7-1 shellacking back in December.

The Capitals have not lost since that game, a streak of seven straight. Theodore has been the goalie for six of those games.

All three shooters tried to beat Theodore on low shots to his stick side, but twice he closed the door with his left foot on the post, and on the final shot by Carter--tied with Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in goals with 27--got enough of Carter's five-hole attempt to thwart the talented forward and preserve the win.

The Caps regulation goal came early off the stick of Niklas Backstrom, campaigning for his first all-star birth. His 12th of the season came from a pass from behind the net from Alexander Semin. That marker would stand until the first minute of the third period.

With Michael Nylander off with a weak hooking call, Braydon Coburn's shot from the post was deflected by not one, but two Capitals defenders and snuck behind Theodore.

Washington killed off a 3:30 penalty kill, including 30 seconds of five-on-three, during a back-and-forth second period. Flyers defenseman Ossi Vaananen made a spectacular sliding block, robbing Nylander of his second goal of the season.

The Capitals are now 18-1-1 at home this season, and have two days to rest with Columbus visiting on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

Photo by Getty Images.
WAS: Backstrom (12) from Semin and Kozlov (1-2:10-PP)
PHI: Coburn (5) from Timonen and Carter (3-0:23-PP)
1. J. Theodore - WAS (Saves: 33, Save Pct: .971)
2. V. Kozlov - WAS (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)
3. M. Biron - PHI (Saves: 33, Save Pct: .971)
The game was delayed several minutes before the shootout as the Flyers bench complained about the snow in the Flyers end and made the Zambonis come back out and resurface the ice.

The Caps maintain their 10-point lead over Carolina in the Southeast Division, and with Boston's loss are just five points behind the Eastern Conference's leaders.