Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Game #64 Recap: Caps 2 Islanders 1

As goes Alex Ovechkin, so goes the Washington Capitals. For all but the final minute the New York Islanders held the the Great 8 and the Capitals at bay and clung to a 1-0 advantage on the score board. The Caps came out with with a purpose gaining an 11-1 shot advantage in the first period. They were disciplined in their systems and making good decisions but the puck just would find the back of the net. The second period saw the Caps become a little too wide open and a little careless with their play. This led to a couple of turnovers and and a goal against. It could have been a lot worse but Michal Neuvirth made some timely stops and the defense scrambled to block a few more. As the third period started the Caps got even tighter. During a power play the Caps couldn't even get the puck out of their own end and Neuvirth had to make several saves and could be seen yelling at his teammates. I must admit I was thinking that the Caps were going fail to score for the 10th time this season. That all changed in the final minute. With the goalie pulled the Caps and a face-off in the New York zone the Caps held the puck in at the left point and Ovechkin feed the puck around the the boards to the right wing corner. The newly acquired Jason Arnott feed a perfect goal mouth pass to Brooks Laich who directed the puck into the net to tie the game at 1-1. The game went to overtime and the Caps looked to be pressing for the win. With a minute and a half gone by in the OT, Ovechkin gathered the puck in his own zone and started up ice. You knew something great was about to happen as he turned a defender inside out at center ice. He weaved across the blue line and initiated contact with the defender to give himself just enough room to fire the puck into the goal to end the game in Ovie-like fashion. Hopefully this is the start of something great. Stay tuned.

Of Note:
  • With 1 goal and 1 assist Ovechkin now has 50 career game-winning goals and 300 career assists. The goal was the 9th overtime game-winner of his career, extending his Washington team record.
  • Brooks Laich scored his 14th goal of the season and scored goals in both games against the Islanders.
  • Jason Arnott, Marco Sturm and Dennis Wideman, the newest members of the team, combined for 8 shots on goal and look to fit right in with the Capitals systems. It will take a bit of adjustment to fully integrate them into the lineup but first impressions were very good. There seems to already be some instant chemistry between Laich and Arnott on the second line.
  • The Caps put 42 shot on goal to the Islanders 29. Ovechkin led the way with 8.
  • Neither power play connected as the Caps failed on 2 attempts but killed off all 4 of the Islanders efforts.
  • Karl Alzner must be singled out for some exceptional play on defense. He blocked 7 shots on the night and was instrumental in limiting the scoring chances of the Islanders in the second period. 
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary 

Game Highlights:

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