Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caps beat top Eastern ranked Bruins 3-1

The Caps played a hard fought game against the Boston Bruins tonight and came out on top. They won it with the help of stellar goaltending from Brent Johnson.  It's nice when the Caps netminder steals a game for them versus me feeling like they won't win if Jose Theodore is in net.  Johnson was awarded the first star of the game and got a standing ovation at the phone booth in the 2nd for his acrobatics in denying Blake Wheeler's shot on goal. 

The highlights:

  • Alexander Semin and Tom Poti returned to the ice to the joy of Caps fans and provided much needed help.
  • The SOB line (Alexander SeminAlex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom), as it's affectionately known on the Caps message board, looked great together again.  They were credited with Ovie's empty netter to seal the game and Backstrom made the perfectly positioned tip in from Ovie's shot to beat Boston netminder Manny Fernadez on the first goal.
  • The game within the game as Al Koken mentioned was Boston defender Zdeno Chara versus Alex Ovechkin.  The two apparently have loads of mutual respect for each other and they always battle hard when playing each other.  According to Koken, Chara switches sides to play against Ovie and tonight, at one point, Ovie switched sides with Semin to get away from Chara.  My favorite moment, the two of them wrestling and Ovie gets Chara down to the ice and makes a between the leg shot on goal while Chara scrambled to get back up.  Awesome to watch.
  • Alexandre Giroux, 2nd star of the game, netted his first NHL goal of the season, the game winner.  It was a nice play set up by Michael Nylander who then passed to Tom Poti who tossed it to Viktor Kozlov who sent it to Giroux.  Giroux missed a penalty shot (I'm not really sure why the referees called a penalty shot was called, but whatever).  He played a good game and has a good shot.
  • Tom Poti nettled Marc Savard trash talking with him all night.  It was so nice having him back.
  • Karl Alzner continued playing strong with Milan Jurcina who came up with a monster hit on Philip Kessel which may have saved a wraparound goal.  Sean Collins also playing with a lot of heart, like he wants to stay in D.C.  He did have an untimely hooking call in the 3rd period, but he also laid his body out in front of David Krecji's shot on goal.
  • For fans who question what Boyd Gordon brings to the Caps, it's his very effective play as a defensive forward which he showcased against Boston.  He stopped a goal in the 2nd and turned around and blasted one on net.  Okay, it didn't go in, but all in all, I saw him in the right places at the right times a lot.
The lowlights:
  • With less than one minute in the second period, Tyler Sloan muffed the puck, Tom Poti didn't cover Milan Lucic on the ensuing 2 on 1 and the Bruins scored.  Ugh.  Sloan had a rough night.  The Caps were slacking off a bit in the second and it showed with that goal right.
  • That is all...
Oskar Osala, the much touted Hershey Bear winger and rookie of the year in the Finnish Elite League last year made his NHL debut.  He looked nervous in the first period, but played pretty well in the second period.  I hope to see him again.

Caps play the Ottawa Senators on Friday.

Let's go Caps!

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