Game 52 Review: Caps Scare the Devils Out of Jersey

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, February 03, 2009 | , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Michael Nylander scored twice as the Washington Capitals snapped the New Jersey Devils winning streak at eight games, winning 5-2 before 14,018 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

The big road victory came over the team next closest to the Caps in the Eastern Conference standings, and Washington extended its lead over the Devils to three points. Washington owns a 33-15-4 record, good for 70 points.

Defenseman Mike Green added a goal and an assist, as his goal-scoring streak reached four games, tying a Capitals record for most consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman. Alex Ovechkin assisted on two goals, and the Caps were successful on three of their four power plays, including both goals in the first period, setting the tone for the game.

Nylander was a difference-maker, scoring the third goal early in the second period on a backhand after Boyd Gordon controlled a bouncing rebound, and after two New Jersey goals, scored an unassisted power play goal at 10:59 of the third to seal the deal.

The Caps' fourth goal was a classic case of "dummy", where the veteran carried the puck along the boards until the defense practically ignored him, then he whipped a shot between goalie Scott Clemmenson's pads.

Nyls now has eight points in his last nine games, perhaps becoming more accustomed to his role on this team.

Jose Theodore made 32 saves for the win.

The game was not all good, however. For the 12th game in a row, Washington surrendered a power play goal, and tonight also allowed a shorthanded goal, to red-hot Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner.

More troubling though was the suddenly alarming injury news. Before the game, the team announced captain Chris Clark will miss the rest of the season due to impending surgery on his injured right wrist. Then, the team scratched goalie Brent Johnson to rest his nagging hip injury, with the possibility that Johnson himself may need surgery.

The kicker was losing Viktor Kozlov during the game with a groin injury. The team said it was just a tweak, but any injury to a top line player is a concern.

Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr also scored for Washington, giving Fehr goals in back-to-back games.

The Capitals play next Thursday evening, hosting the Los Angeles Kings at 7:00 pm from Verizon Center.

05:58 Power Play - Mike Green (16), Wrist Shot. Assist: Semin, Ovechkin
08:12 Power Play - Brooks Laich (12), Tip-In. Assist: Ovechkin, Green

02:16 Michael Nylander (6), Backhand Shot. Assist: Gordon, Fehr
08:50 Power Play - Brian Rolston (9), Slap Shot. Assist: Elias, Parise

41.0 Short - Jamie Langenbrunner (15), Slap Shot. Assist: Zajac, Salvador
10:59 Power Play - Michael Nylander (7), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
18:50 Eric Fehr (5), Empty Net. Assist: Morrisonn, Laich


1. M. Nylander - WAS (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2. M. Green - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)
3. J. Langenbrunner - NJ (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)

Photo by Getty Images.