Friday, April 4, 2008

Game #81 Recap - Capitals 4 Lightning 1

The Capitals keep the playoff hopes alive as they prevail 4-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game didn't start as the Caps had planned. The Bolts scored in the first minute of play and Lightning goalie Kari Ramo stood on his head as the Caps fired 20 shots at him in the first period. Ramo stopped 19 of the 20 shots but was bested when Viktor Kozlov took the puck to the net and Alex Ovechkin shot the rebound that deflected off a Tampa defender into the net. The second period was very quiet with both teams trading power play chances. Then in the third the play really picked up. With the score still tied at 1-1, Vincent Lecavalier got the puck all alone in front of the crease. Caps goalie Cristobal Huet made an incredible save on the Lightning All-Star centerman. Later in the period Lacavalier was injured on a questionable hit by Matt Cooke at center ice. No penalty was called and in the ensuing play Tampa was called for cross checking. The Caps took advantage as Alex Ovechkin fire a shot from the top of the left wing circle beating Ramo and giving the Caps a 2-1 lead. Boyd Gordon added a goal after some good work along the boards and Tom Poti finished off the game with an empty netter. The win moves the Caps ahead of Philadelphia and into the 8th and final playoff spot for the moment. Philly plays tonight against New Jersey.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored goals 64 and 65 on the year. He set an NHL record for most goals in a season by a left wing. He also passed Kelly Miller and is now 10th on the Capitals All-Time goal scoring list. He also recored his 22nd power play goal of the year tying Peter Bondra's Capitals season record and got his 11th game-winning goal of the year.
  • The Caps out shot the Lightning 40-19 and out drew them in face-offs 33-21.
  • Mike Green and Viktor Kozlov had two assists each. Matt Bradley, Nicklas Backstrom, Matt Cooke and Sergei Fedorov each had one assist.
  • Cristobal Huet stopped 18 of 19 shots in his 7th consecutive victory. Since coming to the Caps, Huet is 10-2-0 with a 1.69 GAA and a 0.934 save percentage.
  • The Caps have won 6 straight games and 10 of their last 11. They have one more game on Saturday against the Florida Panthers. If the Boston vs. Ottawa game finishes in regulation tonight then the Caps will make the playoffs with a victory over Florida.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Super Stats

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