Postgame Notebook: Sharks 7, Capitals 2
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:55 AM
Mike Vogel - WashingtonCaps.com Senior WriterShots Down in San Jose –
The Capitals were the first team in 17 games to hold the Sharks to as few as 28 shots on goal in a game. Washington made several tape-to-tape passes that went directly to the tape of San Jose sticks, and didn’t give itself much of a chance against the league’s best team (17-3-1) and the league’s best home ice team (11-0-1). The Sharks are now 19-0-2 in their last 21 regular season home games dating back to Feb. 14.
San Jose capitalized on virtually every Capitals miscue early on, tallying three goals – all it would need on this night – on its first five shots.
The Caps spotted their hosts a 3-0 first period lead, and then closed the deficit to 3-1 when Tom Poti
scored after a hard-working shift in the offensive zone. Any chance the Caps had to pull closer evaporated when San Jose’s Joe Thornton scored a power play goal 64 seconds after Washington’s Michael Nylander took an offensive zone holding call.
Since Feb. 21, the Sharks are now a gaudy 35-5-3, the best run by any NHL team in more than a decade.
Streaking – Nicklas Backstrom
picked up an assist on Washington’s second goal of the night to keep his scoring streak alive at a career high eight games (four goals, 11 assists). Backstrom’s streak is the longest current one in the league.
Ovechkin also assisted on that Tomas Fleischmann goal, extending his own streak to seven straight games with a point (six goals, 10 assists). Ovechkin also recorded his first ever point against the Sharks in the process, meaning that he has now scored at least a point against all 30 NHL teams.
Ovechkin is still without a goal against Los Angeles, San Jose and Minnesota.
Powering Up –
Fleischmann’s goal came on the power play, and it marked the sixth consecutive game in which Washington has scored with the extra man. Washington is 8-for-25 (32%) on the power play in those six games.
Stepping Up –
Fleischmann now has eight goals in 20 games this season. Flash has four goals in his last five games. He netted 10 goals in 75 contests for the Capitals last season. Fleischmann’s eighth goal of the 2007-08 season came in the team’s 60th game of the campaign.
Back-to-Back Setbacks –
For just the third time in Boudreau’s 81-game tenure as the Caps’ head coach, Washington has dropped back-to-back regulation games. It has yet to lose as many as three regulation games in succession since Boudreau took over.
Brash Brawl –
Donald Brashear recorded the 201st major penalty and the 197th fighting major of his NHL career in a memorable first period bout with San Jose heavyweight Jody Shelley early in the first period of Saturday’s game. The two traded blows in a lengthy tilt, with Brashear opening up a cut on Shelley’s face and clearly getting the better of the veteran Sharks puncher.
Brashear leads all active players in major penalties and fighting majors. He incurred the 55th misconduct penalty of his career in the second period of Saturday’s game, second only to Detroit’s Chris Chelios (58) among active players.
For Shelley, it was the 132nd fighting major of his NHL career, fourth among all active players. He trails only Brashear, Ian Laperriere (167) and Brad May (143).
In a pre-game chat with Shelley on Saturday morning, he noted that he believed he hadn’t yet fought Brashear. He has now.
Not So Happy Anniversary –
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Bruce Boudreau’s hiring as the Capitals’ head coach. Tonight was the team’s 81st game in the Boudreau administration, and the Caps are 48-23-10 (106 points) over that span.
First Shot Blues –
Saturday night’s game in San Jose marks the sixth time this season the Caps have surrendered a goal on the game’s first shot. Washington is now 3-3 in those six contests.
Rare Minor –
Caps defenseman Tyler Sloan
was sent off for high-sticking in the second period of Saturday’s game. It was his first minor penalty since he incurred a tripping infraction during his NHL debut in Calgary on Oct. 21.
Old Friend –
Ex-Cap Brian Willsie began the 2008-09 season with Lake Erie of the AHL, but was recalled by the parent Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Willsie was a Colorado draft choice in 1996, and he began his NHL career with the Avs in 1999-00. He spent two seasons with the Caps and netted a career-high 19 goals with Washington in 2005-06.
Willsie was leading Lake Erie with eight goals at the time of his recall, and he had eight goals and 14 points in a dozen AHL games this season.
Blood in the Water –
With two power play goals against Washington on Saturday, the Sharks have 14 power play strikes in 40 tries (35%) in their last six games.
Blueline Bonanza –
The San Jose defense is the most prolific bunch of blueliners in the league from an offensive standpoint. Entering the game, four San Jose defensemen (Dan Boyle, Christian Ehrhoff, Rob Blake and Marc-Eduoard Vlasic ranked among the league’s top 25 defensemen in scoring.
That foursome added a goal (by Vlasic) and eight assists in Saturday’s game. Fifteen of San Jose’s 28 shots on goal in the game came from its defensemen. Several Sharks goals on this night came as a direct result of its defensemen shooting the puck on goal.
The Caps got a goal and an assist from their defensemen, but they got only three shots on goal from their blueliners (including Poti’s tap-in from just outside the goal line). Nine intended shots from the Caps defense were blocked and two more missed the net.
This Date in NHL History –
Ex-Caps defenseman Calle Johnasson netted his first NHL goal on this date in 1987 while skating for the Buffalo Sabres in a game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Down on the Farm –
Hershey hosted Bridgeport on this Saturday night, a night after authoring a 5-2 win over the Phantoms in Philadelphia. The Bears took down the Sound Tigers by a 4-1 score on Saturday.
Hershey spotted the visitors a 1-0 lead before Keith Aucoin
netted his eighth goal of the season – a power play strike – to even the score midway through the first period. Alexandre Giroux and Chris Bourque collected the assists.
After a scoreless second frame, Sami Lepisto put the Bears on top with another power play goal, his third tally of the season at 3:07 of the third. Bourque and goaltender Daren Machesney assisted on that one, the second time in as many nights that a Hershey netminder recorded a point.
Less than 90 seconds later, Oskar Osala netted his 13th of the season from Bourque and Patrick McNeill
to push the Hershey lead to 3-1. Graham Mink closed out the scoring with his 10th of the campaign later in the period, getting help from Aucoin and Karl Alzner
Machesney stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced, running his record to 7-3 in the process.
Hershey has won five straight and is at 14-5-0-1, a point ahead of Bridgeport for the top spot in the AHL East Division standings.
Home for a Saturday night tilt against the Dayton Bombers at North Charleston Coliseum, the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays dropped a 3-2 decision.
Jeff Corey staked the Rays to a 1-0 first period lead with a shorthanded goal at 13:44, but the Bombers answered with a power play goal of their own less than a minute later. The Rays fell into a 2-1 hole in the final minute of the first when Dayton scored to make it 2-1.
Corey knotted the score in the second with his second of the game and fifth of the season, but Dayton took the lead for good midway through the second.
made 27 saves in goal for the Stingrays. South Carolina hosts Mississippi on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Rays are 9-3-0-1 and tied for first place in the ECHL’s South Division.