Friday, March 4, 2011

Game #65 Recap: Caps 3 St. Louis 2

The Capitals didn't play their best game but they got better as the game went on. The first period saw Washington come out strong and put a lot of rubber to the net but nothing to show for it. The Blues took advantage to some sloppy play by the Capitals and finished a 2-on-1 for a 1-0 lead after the first period. In the second a hardworking forecheck from Matt Hendricks lead to a beautiful Alex Ovechkin pass from behind the net to a wide open Scott Hannan. Hannan took awhile to gather the puck but scored with a shot the roof of the goal. For Hannan it was his first in a Capitals uniform and it broke a 118 game goalless streak. Minutes later the Caps found themselves down again when an ill advised John Erskine pinch from the point allowed the Blues another odd man rush giving them a 2-1 lead. Luckily it was a short lived lead. Alex Ovechkin fed Mike Knuble in the Blues zone and Knuble tried to pass the puck to Nicklas Backstrom, who was crashing the right post. The puck was partially blocked and knocked up in the air. Backstrom waited for the puck to come down to his waist level where he connected on a baseball like swing and drove the puck down and into the net on one hop. A sweet goal to be sure. In the third period with the score knotted at 2-2, the Caps started to control the pace of the game and forced the Blues into a turnover just outside their own blue line. Brooks Laich chipped the puck up to Alexander Semin who went in on a 2-on-1 with Jason Arnott. In a slick move Semin settled down a rolling puck and feed a pass across to Arnott who wired a one-timer into the net to take the lead 3-2. After killling off a penalty the Capitals held off the Blues in the final minutes and took the 2-points in the standings. The Caps have now won three games in a row and and appear to be coming together at the right time in the season. This weekend will be a big trip as they face Florida on Sunday and 1st placed Tampa on Monday.

Of Note:
  • Jason Arnott, who was acquired by the Capitals on Monday, has delivered with an assist and the game-winning goal in two games for Washington.
  • Alex Ovechkin picked up 2 assists in the game for his 18th multi-point game of the season.
  • The Capitals killed off all 3 St. Louis power plays and went 0 for 1 with the man advantage.
  • Without the services of David Steckel, the Caps won 30 of the games 59 face-offs with Boyd Gordon doing the bulk of the work winning 12 and losing 9.
  • Michal Neuvirth set a Capitals rookie record with his 21st win on the season. Bob Mason won 20 games in his rookie year for the Capitals back in the 1986-87 season. Neuvirth made 25 stops on 27 shots.
  • Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin each had one assist in the game.
  • As a team the Caps blocked 22 St. Louis shots. Scott Hannan and Karl Alzner each had 4 apiece.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

Game Highlights:

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