Game 24 Review: Another One Bites the Dust?

Posted by Dave Nichols | Sunday, November 30, 2008 | , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals went into Columbus looking to build off Friday night's shut out victory over Montreal. What they found was a hockey team more desperate than they were, as Rick Nash scored twice -- once short handed -- and rookie goalie Steve Mason pitched a 26 save shut out of his own dealing Washington a 3-0 loss.

To make matters worse, Washington (13-8-3, first in Southeast) may have lost the services of rookie defenseman Karl Alzner for a while, himself a recent injury replacement. He was slammed into the side boards by Derick Brassard in the second period chasing after a loose puck and came up from the hit hanging his left arm at his side and did not play in the third period.

Washington was out shot 15-8 in the first period and were out-played and out-hustled from the very beginning. Goalie Brent Johnson survived the first period allowing just one goal, a slap shot from Raffi Torres, his first goal of the season. It's the only goal Mason would need.

Mason, 20, now owns a 5-2-0-1 record this season, making it difficult for coach Ken Hitchcock to return the player to the minors when their regular goalies get healthy.

The shut out sees Alex Ovechkin's 10-game points streak come to an end. He had scored 11 goals and 11 assists in those 10 games.

Columbus (10-13-3-23) captain Rick Nash had no such problems. He snapped a wrist shot past Johnson at 14:44 of the second period, and put the exclamation point on the victory with a short handed back-hander past Johnson mid-way through the third. It was goals 11 and 12 for Nash this season.

The Capitals now have a couple days to get players healthy. They once again played without a host of players, including October's player of the month Alexander Semin, veteran Sergei Federov, and blue line mainstays Mike Green, Tom Poti among others.

Washington hosts the Florida Panthers Tuesday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m. from Verizon Center.

Photo by AP.

WAS: None.
COL: Torres (1) from Modin and Methot (1-8:01); Nash (11) from Umberger and Huselius (2-14:44); Nash (12) unassisted (3-13:37-SH)

1. R. Nash - CLB (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2. S. Mason - CLB (Saves: 26, Save Pct: 1.000)
3. J. Hejda - CLB (Goals: 0, Assists: 0)

The Caps are 4-8-2 on the road this season.

Washington's seven-game unbeaten streak against Columbus (6-0-1) was the Capitals' longest against any team.

The Capitals went 8-5-2 for their first winning November since 1999 and with their most wins in the month since getting nine in 1996.