THE RESULT:  On Friday night, the Washington Capitals were beaten and embarrassed by a division opponent.  Saturday night, they rebounded against one of their biggest competitors for supremacy in the Eastern Conference, earning a point when it would have been easy enough to fold as they did the previous night.

Instead, they fought back from two third period defecits to the Philadelphia Flyers before falling in a shootout, 5-4, before another sellout at Verizon Center.

Down 3-1 midway through the third, the Capitals (14-5-2, 1st in SE) started the comeback with a Nicklas Backstrom power play goal off a scrum in front of the goal.  Jason Chimera tied the game at three just 28 seconds later, banging home his own rebound against Brian Boucher (33 saves). 

Andreas Nodl put a backhand through Michal Neuvirth (31 saves) after Tomas Fleischmann failed to clear the zone and both Mike Green and Jeff Schultz were left flat-footed to re-take the lead.  But with just 39 seconds remaining, skating six-on-four with Danny Briere in the box for high-sticking, Eric Fehr slammed a slap shot from 15 feet to knot the game and sent it to overtime.

After an exciting overtime period, Briere made up for his late penalty, registering the sole tally in the shootout to take the extra point in this big Eastern Conference matchup.

Both teams played hard in this one with something to prove.  The Caps were coming off an embarrassing 5-0 shut out and the Flyers were beaten 8-7 by Tampa Bay Thursday night.  It was apparent early that both teams would be physically and emotionally involved.

“Both teams were coming off games that they probably didn’t feel very good about themselves," Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game. "I think two very proud teams wanted to get back and show that they could play.”

It's the type of game that Alex Ovechkin usually relishes, but the two-time Hart Trophy winner really didn't put his stamp on this one.  Playing the point on the power play, he misfired wide several times and just didn't insinuate himself into this one that much.

But as Coach Bruce Boudreau said post-game, the Caps had just about their worst week of the season, and still ended up .500 for the week, and took a point away against a top opponent.

Considering the beat-down they took in Atlanta and the hole they dug for themselves in the second period, the Caps should be happy with that.

THE GOOD:  Marcus Johansson.  Notchinghis second goal of the season, the young rookie played his best game so far this year on the third line tonight.  It's a much better fit for him than trying to center either of the top two lines.  Only won a third of his draws though.

THE BAD:  Alex Ovechkin.  Won't find his name here very often, but Ovi did not have a great game.  Managed three shots, but missed on six shots and had another five blocked.  The Great 8 is not firing on all cylinders right now.

THE UGLY:  Alexander Semin.  As well as he's played lately, he was that bad tonight.  Just two shots and three minor penalties, interference, slashing and tripping.  A trifecta of suck.

THE STATS:  Johansson (2) from Chimera (6) and Bradley (5) at 8:10 of 1st.  Backstrom (7) from Ovechkin (16) and Laich (9) at 11:03 of 3rd (PP).  Chimera (4) from Hendricks (4) and Fleischmann (5) at 11:31 of 3rd (PP).  Fehr (4) from Laich (10) and Semin (12) at 19:21 of 3rd (PP).

NEXT GAME:  Monday at 7:00 pm at New Jersey Devils.


3. Jason Chimera.  Goal and assist.  He's playing very well, using his speed and instincts to his advantage.  His assist between his legs on Johansson's goal was a beauty.
2.  Eric Fehr.  Had the game-tying goal, played physically, and was active down low.
1. John Carlson.  He was minus-1 in the stat sheet, but the dude was everywhere tonight.  Great positional defense, used his size along the boards, and jumped into the play on  the offensive end at the right times.  Four shots, three hits, four blocks.  That's having a presence.


The Capitals scored a season-high three power play goals in the third period while the penalty killing unit only surrendered one goal on nine power play chances.

Marcus Johansson scored his second goal of the season at 8:10 of the first period. It was his first point since returning from an injury that saw him miss eight games and his first goal since Oct. 19 (vs. Boston). Johansson also registered three shots on net in 13:15 of ice time.

 David Steckel, who came into tonight’s game ranked third in the NHL in faceoffs (62.6%), won seven of nine faceoffs (78.0%) while also registering three hits in 10:26 of ice time.