Sunday, April 3, 2011

Game #79 Recap: Caps 5 Buffalo 4 (OT)

For the second consecutive game the Capitals needed extra time but pulled out the win Alex Ovechkin shot a pinball like shot that was double deflected by two defenders before eluding the Buffalo net minder. For Ovechkin it was his 30th goal and 11th game-winner on the season and caused a little crazy dance in celebration. The road to victory in the game was quite a trip as the Capitals looked like they were going to blow the doors off early. Mike Knuble and Alexander Semin both scored before the game was 5 minutes old. The second five minutes was all Buffalo as they regrouped with a timeout and evened the game on two deflection goals. For the rest of the first period, all of the second and 10 minutes into the third the score remained at 2-2 as neither team could find the back of the net. A defensive miscue by the Capitals allowed a semi-break by the Sabres and Buffalo took the lead 3-2. This was followed by a Capitals power play that struck when Knuble deflected Brooks Laich's point shot to tie the game. Then it was the Caps who had to defend the power play as Scott Hannan was in the box for holding. Buffalo retook the lead when the Caps were too aggressive and got caught up ice. Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth made an initial stop but John Carlson couldn't stop on his way back to the net and ended up knocking the puck into his own net for a Buffalo 4-3 lead. The Caps kept battling and with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker got a power play due to a hi stick. The Caps laid siege on the Buffalo net and Jason Arnott tied the game with 52 seconds remaining with the 400th goal of his career setting the table for Ovechkin's heroics in the overtime.

Of Note:
  • Alex Ovechkin finished the game with 1 goal 2 assists for 3 points along with 7 shots on goal, 1 cross bar and 4 hits. This sounds like a normal Ovechkin stat line.
  • The Caps scored on both power play attempts in the game. The power play has been working at a rate of 20.8% (5 for 24) in the last 9 games. Good timing for this part of Washington's game to come around. The penalty kill was 1 for 2 and has killed 25 of 27 (92.6%) in those same 9 games.
  • The Caps did better in the face-off dot splitting the draws 35 apiece. Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich lead the Caps winning 20 and losing 10.
  • Nicklas Backstrom had 3 assists in the game, John Carlson had 2, and Alexander Semin, Marco Sturm, and Brooks Laich each had 1.
  • Scott Hannan and Jeff Schultz each had 4 blocks each of the team's 18.
  • Sean Collins was called up from Hershey to fill in on the back line and his stats showed nothing in 14 minutes of work which is exactly what the team needed. Overall a good effort for an AHL D-man thrown into the middle of an NHL playoff race.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

 

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