Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Game #61 Recap: Caps 1 Pittsburgh 0

For Michal Neuvirth, nothing is more satisfying. After watching Pittsburgh's head coach denigrate the young goalie on the HBO 24/7 Series the Caps net minder notched his second consecutive shutout against the rival Pens. Neuvirth stopped all 39 shots sent his way and kept his team in the game during the first period when he was peppered with 18 shots. He robbed Jordon Staal with a remarkable glove save just as he had done earlier in the season to his brother Eric. Washington was outworked in the first leading to 3 power plays for the Pens who failed to connect but kept the Capitals pinned in there own end for most of the frame. In the second period Matt Bradley got the Caps fired up by laying the body and was called for a phantom charging penalty when he leveled Matt Cooke in some payback for the knee on knee hit he gave Alex Ovechkin in the two teams last game. Bradley then administered a nice beat down to the Pen Ryan Craig who wanted some revenge for the hit on Cooke. With 5 minute remaining in the second period the Caps went to the power play. After some ineffective play the Caps' Mike Knuble took the puck down the right wing and fired a low shot on net. The goalie made the save but offered up a rebound that went high in the air and was gloved down by Marcus Johansson. The young Swedish center made a quick pass back to Ovechkin who one-timed an absolute missile into the top left corner of the net. The Pens goalie had no chance and the Caps led 1-0. It would be all the offense they needed as the Caps shut down the Pens the rest of the way with Neuvirth making 14 stops in the third to seal the shutout. The Capitals completed their 5-game road trip with a 3-2-0 record and will next face the New York Rangers at home on Friday.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his 24th goal of the season and has goals in 4 of his last 6 games. The goal was his 8th game-winning goal of the season which ties him for the league lead in that category. It was his first game-winner against the Pens and the 293rd goal in his career.
  • Marcus Johansson and Mike Knuble got the assist on the Ovechkin power play goal. For Johansson it was his first power play assist and his first assist on an Ovechkin goal.
  • The Capitals went 1 for 3 on the power play and have connected for a power play goal in each of the last three games. The penalty killers did all their work in the first period and were a perfect 3 for 3.
  • For the 8th time this season the Capitals blocked 20 or shots. Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan led the team with 4 blocks apiece.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary


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