Postgame Notebook: Capitals 6, Maple Leafs 1
Cooking At Home –
After playing 18 of their last 27 games on the road, Washington returned home from a three-game trip on Friday night to host the Maple Leafs. Playing their third game in four nights against a club that was playing its second game in as many nights, the Capitals rolled to a 6-1 triumph over Toronto.
turned in a vintage performance, scoring a goal in the game’s first minute and following up with four primary assists to match his single-game career high of five points. The four assists are a single-game career high for the Caps’ captain.
The victory ran Washington’s home record to 15-3-3 on the season.
“It just shows their skill level,” says Leafs coach Ron Wilson. “They scored on just about every chance they had. And we have to get twice as many chances to compete with a team like that. We didn’t; we had about the same number of chances. Ovechkin makes things happen. If you play the game with a deer in the headlights kind of mold, then you’re probably going to get run over by the car – like a deer would.”
Four Score –
Friday’s game was the sixth straight in which Washington scored four or more goals. The Caps concluded the 2008-09 season by scoring four or more goals in each of their last seven games.
Multiple Men –
Knuble’s two-goal game was his third such effort of the season. It was the 33rd time in Washington’s 47 games this season that a Capital has had a two-goal night. No Cap has had a hat trick thus far this season.
Faster Pace – Eric Fehr
scored his 12th goal of the season against Toronto, doing so in his 36th game of 2009-10. Last season, Fehr scored a career high 12 goals in 61 games.
Stepping Up –
Caps defenseman Shaone Morrisonn stood up for partner Mike Green
, taking on Toronto’s Colton Orr after the Leafs winger missed Green’s mug with a cross-check try.
For Morrisonn, it was the fifth fight of his NHL career and the second time he has dropped the gloves with Orr, whose fight card includes 74 career regular season tilts. Both times Morrisonn has gone with Orr he has also picked up an instigator. The first time was Dec. 30, 2006 against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Orr cheap-shotted Ovechkin that night.
No. 8 Gets the Eighth –
Ovechkin’s goal tonight marked the eighth time this season the capitals have scored on their first shot on goal of the game, and the third time Ovechkin has turned the trick in 2009-10. Tomas Fleischmann has a pair of first-shot goals; Eric Fehr
and Alexander Semin
have the other two.
Might As Well (Get The) Jump –
Ovechkin’s first-period goal came at the 49-second mark of the first. Dating back to Wednesday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Panthers in Florida, it marked the second straight period in which Ovechkin scored in the first minute of a frame and the third straight period in which Washington had scored a goal in the first 60 seconds of a stanza.
On the season, Washington has outscored the opposition by 10-0 in the first minute of periods.
Days after his overtime goal propelled Team USA to victory in overtime of the gold medal game at the IIHF World Junior Championship, 20-year-old defenseman John Carlson
was recalled to the Capitals on Friday.
Carlson had been with the AHL Hershey Bears in Albany when he got the call around noon on Friday. After traveling for the entire afternoon, Carlson arrived just in time for warm-ups. Playing in his fourth NHL game, he logged 14:32 and was a plus-2. Five days after his 20th birthday, Carlson also earned the hardhat.
No Place Like Home – Tom Poti
’s third-period goal was his first at Verizon Center since he tallied on Nov. 10, 2008 against the Lightning.
Bad Boys –
The Caps tied a single-game high this season with 13 penalties against Toronto. They had 13 penalties three nights earlier in a Tuesday tilt in Tampa against the Lightning.
Slumping Sniper –
Toronto’s Phil Kessel is mired in a deep slump. He has just one goal in his last 15 games despite firing 70 shots on goal during that span. Kessel had just one shot on goal in Friday’s loss to the Caps. He also had two shots blocked and missed the net altogether on five occasions.
Send In The Clowns –
A large deficit for the Leafs means extra ice for the likes of Orr, Garnet Exelby, Jay Rosehill and Jamal Mayers. That quartet all skated a couple minutes more than usual on Friday, and naturally, shenanigans ensued.
Orr – whose four career goals earned him a four-year, $4 million contract from the Leafs last summer – attempted some late dentistry on Green. Morrisonn came to his partner’s rescue, earning an instigator penalty in the process.
A few minutes later, Rosehill took a run at Carlson, raising the ire of the Capitals’ Jason Chimera
. Chimera incurred an instigator for taking Rosehill to task, and that one might end up costing Caps coach Bruce Boudreau a few bucks. There is an NHL rule that calls for a $10,000 fine to the coach of a team that draws an instigator call in the final five minutes of a game. Chimera is also likely to be assessed an automatic one-game suspension for drawing an instigator call in the game's final five minutes.
“We don’t exactly have the toughest team in the world,” admits Boudreau. “When teams take liberties, we come in as a group. This is a group that cares about each other. When somebody hits one, they hit them all. I’m all for protecting our guys. We don’t start a lot of this stuff, but we’re there. It doesn’t matter how tough the guy is, we want to protect our guys and that’s what we have to do.”
By The Numbers –
Niklas Hagman had seven shots on goal in the first period, accounting for half of the Leafs’ total in that frame … Toronto’s top defensive duo of Ian White and Tomas Kaberle was minus-2 in the first. White finished at minus-4 … Ovechkin and Green were both plus-3 on the night … Tyler Sloan
led the Caps with three blocked shots.
Down On The Farm –
The AHL Hershey Bears traveled to upstate New York for a Friday night date with the Albany River Rats. Hershey crushed its division rival by a 10-4 score to record its 30th win of the season. The Bears actually led 10-1 before a late Albany field goal cut the lead by a third.
Seven different Bears scored the first seven goals for Hershey. Alexandre Giroux finished with a hat trick, giving him 17 goals on the season. Keith Aucoin
(his 20th), Mathieu Perreault
(5th), Chris Bourque (10th), Jay Beagle
(7th), Boyd Kane (15th), Andrew Gordon (19th) and Kyle Wilson
(13th) all scored for the Bears.
Kane’s goal came while the Bears were shorthanded; Perreault and Giroux each scored on the power play.
Fifteen Bears – including all 12 forwards – recorded at least a point, led by Giroux with five. Karl Alzner
was one of three Bears without a point, but he was plus-4 on the evening.
Jason Bacashihua made 19 saves on goal to run his record to 8-2-1-1.
Friday’s win ends a four-game road trip for Hershey which went 3-1 on the journey. The Bears return home to take on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday and Syracuse on Sunday at Giant Center.
With a 30-9-0-2 record, Hershey expanded its East Division lead to 16 points over Albany.
Down a level, the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays put a 3-0 whitewash on the Kalamazoo Wings at North Charleston Coliseum on Friday. Darren Reid, Jake Hauswirth
and Rob Ricci (empty-netter) tallied to support the 39-save netminding of Shane Connelly.
The Rays host the Wings again on Saturday and then play host to division rival Gwinnett on Sunday. The Stingrays currently enjoy a 14-point advantage over second-place Florida in the ECHL’s South Division standings.
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