CAPS GAME NIGHT--GAME 2: Home Opener Brings Out the Red

Posted by Dave Nichols | Saturday, October 03, 2009 | , , | 0 comments »

Welcome from the press box, high atop the Verizon Center, as we get set for the home opener between the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Caps come off Thursday's season opener, where they handled the Boston Bruins 4-1.  The team looked sharp, gave up only 20 shots, and had their way on the power play.  The Leafs lost their opener Thursday to thier arch-rival Montreal Canadiens, 4-3, with less than 30 seconds remaining in overtime.

Toronto played a rough-and-tumble game against Montreal, and took three fighting majors, one each from Mike Kommisarek, Colton Orr and Jay Rosehill.  Matt Stajan led the way on offense, scoring twice, with Alexei Ponikarovsky picking up the other goal.

The Caps are led, naturally, by the Great 8, Alex Ovechkin.  The two-time Hart Trophy winner did not disappoint in Game 1, netting two goals and helping with another.  But Brooks Laich opened some eyes, scoring two power play goals from inside the crease.  Nicklas Backstrom had three assists, and Alexander Semin set up two goals.

Jose Theodore played well in net, but Semyon Varlamov gets the start tonight in a pre-determined set-up.  Coach Bruce Boudreau will have to balance the play of the two, resisting to always play the hot hand to make sure both players get enough work, unless and until one of them plays head-and-shoulders above the other.



Scratches: Nylander, Sloan, Schultz

WAS: Eric Fehr (shoulders), Tomas Fleischmann (blood clot)
TOR:  Jeff Finger (oblique), Jamie Heward (concussion), Phil Kessel (shoulder), Jamal Meyers (head), Mike Vay Ryn (knee)