Saturday night’s marquee NHL matchup featured the last two remaining undefeated teams in the league: the Capitals and the Detroit Redwings. After sixty minutes on the Verizon Center ice, the Caps emerged as the lone remaining undefeated team, posting a convincing 7-1 victory in an early-season statement game.
Mike Green slammed home a Nicklas Backstrom feed from above the right faceoff circle just seconds into the game’s first power play to give the Capitals an early one to nothing advantage. 61 seconds later, Marcus Johansson, with help from Alexander Semin and Mike Knuble, put a beautiful top-shelf shot past Detroit goalie Ty Conklin to make it 2-0 Washington.
Mike Green got on the scoreboard during the second period, again on the power play, with another gorgeous snipe from the point. He would finish with two goals and two assists on the night. The Red Wings scored on a five-on-three man advantage, to close the gap to two goals, but that would be as close as they would get for the rest of the night. With just over seven seconds remaining in the second period, Matthieu Perreault tipped in a Matt Hendricks shot that trickled through the goalie’s pads for his second goal of the season.
The floodgates opened in the third period, with the Caps getting goals from Joel Ward, Matthieu Perreault, and Nicklas Backstrom.
Just about everything.
The Capitals’ power play, long lamented last season, appears to have turned a corner, going 2 for 3 on the night.
The Capitals again got some brilliant goaltending from Tomas Vokoun, who is now 6-0, and stopped 32 of Detroit’s 33 shots on the evening.
The Bad (although the game was pretty rock solid):
The second period is probably one the Caps would like to have back. They were outshot 16-8 and gave up two five-on-three penalties, during one of which the Red Wings scored, even though they managed to score twice.
Alex Semin yet another ill-advised offensive zone stick penalty, but luckily it did not end up costing the Caps, this time.
Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom’s 1500th NHL game was recognized with a standing ovation in the first period.
The Capitals warmed up in pink-bordered Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys that were auctioned off during the game to raise money for the charity.