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game recap

Postgame Notebook: Capitals 3, Senators 2, OT

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Mike Vogel  - WashingtonCaps.com Senior Writer

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Postgame Notebook: Capitals 3, Senators 2, OT
Ottawa Senators 2, Washington Capitals 3
Eight Gets One Late – Monday night’s game against the Senators won’t be remembered as one of the best performances of Alex Ovechkin’s career. The dynamic left wing struggled in all situations all night against the Senators, but he redeemed himself in the game’s 65th minute.

With just over a half minute remaining in overtime, Ovechkin threw a shot on goal on rush from the right circle, and the puck slithered through Ottawa goaltender Pascal Leclaire to give the Capitals a 3-2 overtime win over the Sens.

Leclaire was the victim of Ovechkin’s first two NHL goals just over five years ago, and he’s now the victim of his most recent one as well.

“Only Alex can play like he did and score the overtime goal and be the hero,” says Boudreau. “Go ask him how he played. He’ll tell you, ‘Not so good.’ But he got the overtime goal and that’s what superstars do. That’s why he’s out in the last minute, because he’s got the ability to win you a game at any chance.

“It’s just like Alex Semin. Whether they’re playing good or bad, you put them out there when you need a goal because they’ve got the potential to get it.”

At the other end of the ice, 22-year-old Caps goaltender Michal Neuvirth turned in a third straight solid performance in earning his second win of the season.

 “Really good,” states Boudreau when asked about Neuvirth. “He keeps getting better every game. That’s a good sign for a young goaltender.”

Fab Four (Five) – Washington had 11 homegrown first-round draft picks in its lineup for Monday’s game. Four of them – Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and John Carlson – were on the ice for the game-winner. A fifth, Jeff Schultz, earned the secondary assist on the game-winner before peeling off to the bench.

Sens Slayer – Semin scored the game’s first goal, cashing in a sublime feed from Brooks Laich. Semin is a noted Senator slayer; he now has a dozen goals and 21 points in just 16 career contests against Ottawa.

Late Scratch – Reading the tea leaves of this morning’s skate, it seemed evident that one of Washington’s top six defensemen might not be able to go tonight. That hunch proved to be true, as Tom Poti was a late scratch with an undisclosed (and later, disclosed as a lower body injury) ailment.

Boudreau was typically cagey when asked about the lineup two hours before game time. Queried as to whether the Caps would ice the same lineup as they did for Saturday’s 7-2 shellacking of the New Jersey Devils, Boudreau was noncommittal.

“Pretty close,” he answered.

“What’s different?” came the follow-up.

“I don’t know yet. Might be the same. Supposed to be the same.”

“Neuvy’s in goal?”

“Yes.”

“Is somebody banged up? Is there going to be something different, maybe in the back?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think anything’s different. Nice try, though.”

All seven Caps defensemen took the ice for warm-ups. Poti partipated in the line rushes, while Tyler Sloan did not. Yet when it came time to hand in the lineup card, Poti’s name was not on it while Sloan’s was.

Caps right wing Matt Bradley left the game after skating three shifts totaling 3:23.

Boudreau was asked about Poti and Bradley after the game.

“They both tweaked lower body parts,” says the Caps coach.

Green Blueline – Poti’s absence from the lineup left the Caps with six defensemen who brought a combined 1,036 games worth of NHL experience into tonight’s game. Ex-Cap and current Sens defenseman Sergei Gonchar is just under that number all by himself (993).

“It’s unfortunate, but that’s going to happen,” says Green. “Injuries are going to come and go. We have guys who can jump in and play and that’s what it’s going to take to win games.”

52 Pick-Up – Last season, Poti ranked 10th among NHL defensemen in shorthanded ice time per game with 3:36 per night. Washington took five minor penalties in Monday night’s game against Ottawa, successfully killing them all.

Mike Green absorbed most of Poti’s penalty killing workload, skating a whopping 5:42 of the 10 minutes in which Washington was down a man.

Last season, Green was fifth among Washington defensemen with an average of 2:09 per game in shorthanded ice time. Through the first three games of this season, he is tops on that list at 3:53 per night.

“I’m willing to do that. I was fortunate; I played a very patient game tonight. I wasn’t up the ice a whole lot because of the penalties and I had a lot of energy at the end of the game.”

Green skated a total of 31:53 on the night, the second highest ice time total of any skater in any game this season. Chicago’s Duncan Keith logged 33:39 against the Avalanche in an overtime game on opening night.

“It didn’t feel like 30 minutes,” says Green, “but I guess it was at the end of the night.”

“I think he played 30 minutes or so or more,” says Boudreau. “He might not be getting the points but he sure is playing well, him and Jeff on the point right now.”

By The Numbers – Gonchar led the Sens with 29:42 in ice time … The Caps were 22-for-54 (41%) in the face-off circle. Only Backstrom &-for-13, 54%) won more than half of his draws for the Caps tonight … John Erskine led the Caps with three hits … Matt Hendricks paced the Caps with four blocked shots and he also picked up his first point in a Washington sweater, a primary helper on Eric Fehr’s second-period goal … Fehr had a typically economical night, firing four shots on goal and collecting a goal and an assist in just 13:26 of work on a night in which the Caps played an overtime game and were down to 11 forwards for more than two periods … Matt Carkner led the Sens with four hits and Chris Phillips paced Ottawa with three blocked shots … Sens center Jason Spezza was neutralized offensively by the tandem of Green and Schultz, but he won 14 of 20 (70%) face-offs on the night.
scoring summary
1st Period
18:38
WSH
Alexander Semin (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brooks Laich (1), Eric Fehr (1)
1 - 0 WSH
2nd Period
09:57
OTT
Jarkko Ruutu (1) Tip-in - ASST: Matt Carkner (1), Chris Neil (2)
1 - 1 Tie
11:18
WSH
Eric Fehr (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Hendricks (1), Boyd Gordon (1)
2 - 1 WSH
3rd Period
07:20
OTT
Ryan Shannon (1) Snap shot - ASST: Peter Regin (1)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
04:28
WSH
Alex Ovechkin (3) Snap shot - ASST: John Carlson (3), Jeff Schultz (1)
3 - 2 WSH
penalty summary
1st Period
04:57
WSH
Tomas Fleischmann  Hooking against  Chris Kelly
12:05
WSH
Mike Knuble  Hi-sticking against  Chris Phillips
14:19
OTT
Peter Regin  Interference against  Jason Chimera
16:18
OTT
Matt Carkner  Roughing against  Brooks Laich
19:30
WSH
Alex Ovechkin  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
06:25
WSH
Alex Ovechkin  Cross checking against  Daniel Alfredsson
12:32
OTT
Chris Kelly  Slashing against  Alex Ovechkin
19:29
WSH
Alex Ovechkin  Interference against  Jarkko Ruutu
3rd Period
03:35
OTT
Alex Kovalev  Hooking against  Mike Green
10:13
OTT
Peter Regin  Hooking against  Brooks Laich
13:58
WSH
John Erskine  Roughing against  Jarkko Ruutu
13:58
OTT
Jarkko Ruutu  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  John Erskine
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Pascal Leclaire
Pascal Leclaire
0-2-1
SA: 26TOI: 64:28
Saves: 23EV: 11 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: .885SH: 3 - 3
Michal Neuvirth
SA: 31TOI: 64:08
Saves: 29EV: 22 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .935SH: 1 - 1