Get Me Rewrite – For the second straight game, the Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 lead. And for the second straight game, they squandered that advantage. But two nights after absorbing a 4-3 shootout setback at the hands of the Dallas Stars, the Caps rebounded to earn a 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at Verizon Center.
Because of last week’s influx of healthy bodies at the trade deadline, Caps coach Bruce Boudreau has juggled his personnel for the last four games. As a result, some good players have worn civvies and had a bird’s eye view of the those four games. Tomas Fleischmann was one such player for Monday’s game against the Stars. It marked the first game Fleischmann had missed since he opened the season on injured reserve because of deep vein thrombosis, a malady that cost him the first 11 games of the campaign.
Tonight, Fleischmann was back. With a vengeance. He drew the first two of Washington’s four power plays on the night and then notched the game-winning goal for the Capitals at 3:20 of the extra session when he one-timed a fine feed from Eric Belanger.
For Fleischmann, it was his fourth game-winner of the season and the 10th of his career. It was the second overtime game-winner of his career; the first came on March 27, 2008 at Tampa Bay in the midst of the Caps’ magical seven-game winning streak sprint to the Southeast crown. Tonight’s goal was Fleischmann’s 19th of the season,
Washington is 3-1 against Carolina this season, but the two teams have scored the same number of goals in the four Caps-Canes games.
Eighty – Caps center Nicklas Backstrom recorded his 80th point of the season on Mike Green’s first goal of the game. He joins Dennis Maruk, Mike Gartner and Alex Ovechkin as the fourth Capitals player ever to record consecutive 80-point seasons.
Multiple Men – Green’s two-goal effort was the 46 multiple-goal game by a Caps player this season. Entering Wednesday night’s NHL action, the other 29 NHL teams averaged 16.7 multiple-goal games this season.
Shot Down – Carolina’s Brandon Sutter was awarded a first-period penalty shot after Green hauled him down on a shorthanded breakaway. Caps goalie Jose Theodore stopped Sutter’s shot.
It was the sixth time this season that a Washington netminder faced a penalty shot. Theodore has thwarted all three he has faced. Semyon Varlamov stopped the one he faced, and Michal Neuvirth was nicked for two penalty shot tallies in the same game back on Dec. 30 at San Jose.
Four-on-Four Score – Fleischmann’s game-winning goal was just Washington’s third in four-on-four play this season. All three have come in overtime. The Caps have been outscored 10-3 in four-on-four play in 2009-10. Washington’s 10 goals against in four-on-four situations are the most in the league.
Trade Wake – None of the players involved in last week’s Caps/Canes trades was involved in the scoring in tonight’s tilt. Carolina defenseman Brian Pothier skated 26:27 on the night, the most ice he has logged in a regular season NHL game since he had 27:08 for the Caps in an Oct. 26, 2007 game against Vancouver. Pothier has skated more than 20 minutes in each of the four games he has played for the Hurricanes. He had three blocked shots and four shots on goal and was minus-1 on Wednesday.
Caps defenseman Joe Corvo was plus-1 with two shots on goal in 18:01 of work. Veteran winger Scott Walker played 9:47. He took a minor penalty, blocked a shot and laid two hits.
Rolling Along – Theodore earned the victory and is now 13-0-2 in his last 15 appearances. He made 28 saves to run his record to 23-7-6 on the season.
Cane Killer – With his first-period goal against the Canes, Alexander Semin now has 22 goals and 37 points in 27 career games against Carolina.
Hangover – Green’s first-period power play goal was followed in very short order by an answering salvo from the Hurricanes. Carolina’s Patrick Dwyer scored just 18 seconds after Green had given the Caps a 2-0 advantage.
Dwyer’s goal marks the fourth time in Washington’s last five games (since the end of the Olympic break) that the Caps have been victimized within a minute of scoring a goal of their own.
Timely Promotion – Carolina winger Erik Cole took ill so the Canes recalled Oskar Osala -- obtained from the Caps last week in the deal that also involved Corvo and Pothier -- from Albany of the AHL for tonight’s tilt. Playing in his first game with Carolina and his third in the NHL, Osala skated 6:46. He recorded one shot on goal and one hit.
Happy Birthday – To ex-Caps goalie Martin Brochu, born on this day in 1973. And to former Caps winger and prolific puncher Stephen Peat, born on this day in 1980.
By The Numbers – Pothier led all skaters on both sides with 7:54 worth of ice in the first period … Backstrom was 12-for-18 (67%) in the face-off circle and David Steckel was 8-for-11 (73%). On the other hand, Belanger was 1-for-9 (11%) … Ovechkin had five shots on goal but misfired on 13 other tries (eight blocked, five missed) … Shaone Morrisonn led the Caps with seven hits … Tuomo Ruutu led the Canes with half a dozen hits … Carolina’s Tim Gleason led all skaters on both sides with five blocked shots.
1 - 0 WSH
2 - 0 WSH
2 - 1 WSH
2 - 2 Tie