Century City – Brent Johnson’s win on Monday night was the 100th career, and it came at the expense of the team (Vancouver) that waived him to Washington three years ago this month. This was Johnson’s fourth crack at the century mark as a starter. He is now 100-89-13-10 lifetime in the NHL.
Shot Down – Vancouver managed only 10 shots on goal for the evening, the fewest ever permitted by the Capitals in the team’s 34-season history. The previous mark was 11 shots on goal in a loss to Florida on Nov. 3, 1995.
Until the Canucks’ Kyle Wellwood launched a 41-footer at Johnson at the 8:02 mark of the third, the Caps had more goals than Vancouver had shots on goal.
Johnson faced as many shots on the night (10) as did Vancouver’s Curtis Sanford in his 20-minute relief outing. In addition to the 10 shots on goal, Vancouver missed the mark with 20 attempts and had another dozen bids blocked by Caps defenders.
Including the last 48 minutes of Saturday’s win over the Blackhawks, Washington has allowed just 23 shots on goal in its last 108 minutes of hockey. During the same span, the Caps have fired 66 shots of their own.
First Shot Goal – For the second consecutive game, the Caps surrendered a goal on the opposition’s first shot on goal of the evening. Chicago’s Kris Versteeg dented Washington’s Jose Theodore at the 26-second mark of Saturday’s home opener against the Blackhawks.
Vancouver’s Alexander Edler scored a power play goal against the Caps’ Brent Johnson at 4:02 of the first period on Monday. The shot came from the high slot and went high over Johnson’s left shoulder. Already down a man at the time, the Caps were further handicapped because Alex Ovechkin was without his stick; he had given it to Jeff Schultz.
Even after Monday’s win over the Canucks, a few denizens of press row were heard muttering about how you can’t continue to allow a goal on the first shot of the game. The Caps are 2-0 when they allow a goal on their opponents’ first shot of the game.
Let’s Try it This Way – For the first time in the young three-game season, Washington netted the game’s first goal. It worked out well.
Mr. October – Last season, Caps defenseman Milan Jurcina netted what turned out to be his only goal of the season in the team’s second game of the campaign on Oct. 6, 2007. Tonight, he tallied his first goal of the season in the club’s third game. Jurcina finished with four shots on goal tonight, one more than Alex Ovechkin had.
Last season, Jurcina launched 58 shots on goal in 75 games. Thus far this season, he has eight shots in three games.
Scoring Spread – Three games into the season, every forward who has suited up for Washington has collected a point. Thus far, only defensemen Shaone Morrisonn and John Erskine have failed to register a point. Even goaltender Jose Theodore has an assist.
Back in Back – Veteran Caps center Sergei Fedorov played one preseason game as a defenseman, on Oct. 3 against the Flyers in a 5-1 Washington win. Fedorov skated 17:30, had two assists and was a plus-3 that night, earning the game’s second star designation in the process.
Fedorov spent Monday night patrolling the blueline against the Canucks. He skated 20:21, had an assist and was plus-3 with four shots on goal in a 5-1 win. He earned the game’s third star designation for his efforts.
There may be a pattern there.
Hard Hat – Caps center Nicklas Backstrom earned the construction hard hat for his yeoman efforts on Monday against the Canucks. Backstrom played what was easily his best game of the young season, and could have had four or five assists with a little luck and some finish from his mates. He did pick up a nickname on this night: “Spoon.” As in “spoon-fed.”
A few folks upstairs thought Alexander Semin also had a hard hat worthy night on Monday. He played a determined game and battled well along the wall and in other areas. Semin is the only Cap to have recorded at least a point in each of the team’s three games this season. He is Washington’s leading scorer with six points (three goals, three assists).
Nyles With Style – Michael Nylander ended a string of six straight Washington misses on penalty shots when he scored the Caps’ fifth goal of the game in that fashion late in the second period. It was also Nylander’s fifth career goal in 14 games against Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo.
Prior to Nylander’s goal, Matt Pettinger had Washington’s prior successful penalty shot on Nov. 23, 2005 against Tampa Bay. Ovechkin had four of the six misses.
Power Surge –Mike Green’s first period power play goal was his third tally of the season. All three have come on the power play. He is the only Cap to score a power play goal with his teammates on the ice. Nylander has the team’s only other power play goal, but his came on a penalty shot.
Multiple Men – For the third consecutive contest Washington had a player with a two-goal game. Green had two tallies in Friday’s opening night loss at Atlanta, Ovechkin scored twice in Saturday’s home opener against the Hawks and Semin netted a pair against the Canucks on Monday.
Streak Stopper – Monday night’s win over the Canucks was Washington’s first over Vancouver since a 4-3 overtime road triumph on Feb. 14, 2001. Adam Oates scored the game-winner that night.
Eight Straight – Dating back to the 2007-08 season, Washington has now won eight consecutive regular season games at Verizon Center.
Kozlov Ailing -- Caps forward Viktor Kozlov left the game in the second period and did not return. He is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Payback – When Washington last visited Vancouver on Oct. 27, 2007, the Capitals mustered one shot on goal in the first period and just two shots on net in the third in a 3-2 shootout loss.
Monday night in Washington, the Canucks managed just two shots in the first period and one in the second.
Bobby Lu Who? – Entering Monday night’s game, Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo had won 10 straight decisions against the Caps. He was 12-1-2 with a pair of shutouts, a 1.82 GAA and a .943 save pct. in his last 15 shots against the Capitals.
Washington chased Luongo to the bench after 40 minutes, denting the Canucks goalie for five goals on 25 shots.
1 - 0 WSH
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 WSH
3 - 1 WSH
4 - 1 WSH
PPG - PS -
5 - 1 WSH
Interference on goalkeeper