courtesy of ‘bridgetds’
After the debacle against the Dallas Stars last week, the Washington Capitals needed a rebound. Coach Bruce Boudreau punished the team with some nasty practices and in the first of this home-and-home series against the New Jersey Devils, it seemed to have made an impact. The Caps finished strong in their 3-1 victory at Prudential Center.
- The Caps overcame a sloppy and slow first half of the game, erasing the Devils’ early lead with a couple of opportunistic goals by Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson.
- The game turned in the second period after some solid and consistent play by the Caps kept the Devils from capitalizing on any opportunities.
- Jason Chimera’s game-winning goal was a combination of power and grace, plowing through a pair of Devils and outskating Devils’ rookie Adam Larsson to the goal mouth, then faking goalie Martin Brodeur to snap home a shorthanded goal. It’s easily the pivot moment of the game.
- Alexander Semin had just over 8 minutes of ice time in the game, with only 16 seconds coming in the final 35 minutes. Semin took a 2 minute hooking call halfway into he first period.
- The first period start was hideous for the Caps, who took only 3 shots in the first 19:50.
- Mike Green, who had just returned after missing six games with an ankle injury, went down late in the first period in a collision with New Jersey’s Ryan Carter. According to the Caps, the injury is not the ankle and Green will likely be out short-term.
“If you look through history, and I wouldn’t want to do the calculating, but when you score a shorthanded goal in a tight game, that team almost always wins,” said Coach Boudreau when asked how important Chimera’s shorthanded goal was.
‘Gordon Celebrates His First NHL Goal’
courtesy of ‘clydeorama’
It took a couple of minor league call-ups to get the Caps out of their scoring funk. Andrew Gordon and Jay Beagle, brought up from the AHL Hershey Bears on December 15, scored the first two goals for the Caps, and Washington went on to beat the New Jersey Devils 5-1 last night at Verizon Center.
There were two desperate teams on the ice to start the game. The Caps came into this game to try to string together a couple of wins and leave the eight-game skid behind them. The Devils needed to make up for the 7-1 loss in Atlanta on Saturday and their awful 1-7 record in December.
The new-found discipline of strong forechecking and playing deep in the offensive zone paid dividends as the Caps had a number of good scoring chances early in the game. Gordon lit the lamp first for the Caps, recording his first NHL goal with a strong push to the net as Marcus Johansson chased down a loose puck and whipped a perfect pass to the crease. Continue reading
Would that the Washington Capitals could just play at home for the remainder of the season…
The Caps went to New Jersey last night with a paltry 4-4-1 road record, compared to their 10-1-1 run at home. And last night, the Caps continued to underwhelm on the road, losing 5-0 to a struggling Devils team and marking coach Bruce Boudreau’s third anniversary as head coach with a less-than-stellar performance.
The Caps lost their third straight game and have been outscored 14-4 over that same stretch; two of those games, the Caps have been kept off the scoreboard.
Braden Holtby, a surprise starter last night, has allowed 8 goals on 28 shots – but the fault lies with more than just the rookie netminder. “Everything has a trickle down effect from the forwards to the defense to the goalie to the coaches,” Boudreau said after the game. “If we fail like this, it’s everybody’s fault. We all have to pick up our socks and find out what’s gone wrong in these last three games. I know it happens, but it hasn’t happened to us and I don’t like it.” Continue reading