Game 15 Review: Capitals Dominate Hurricanes 5-1

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, November 12, 2008 | , , , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals dominated their Southeast Division rival Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 in every facet of the game, finally putting together another "60 minute game" as Caps' coach Bruce Boudreau is often fond of saying. League leading scorer Alexander Semin had a five point night (two goals, three assists), and the line of Semin, Ovechkin, and Backstrom were on the ice for all five goals.

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.