Saturday, November 7, 2009
A five goal explosion in one period is enough to cure what ails you as the Caps showed a ravenous appetite for goals in the last frame tonight for a sweep of the Panthers. This game was extremely physical from the outset with both teams getting involved as opposed to last night when the Caps did most of the hitting.
The Florida fore-check was filled with hustle for the first two periods and that was one of the reasons why the visitors had the lead after 40 minutes. The third period began with a bang for the home team. Mathieu Perreault's work ethic is contagious and the club was thrilled to see the young pup to score his first ever, to ignite a rally. The more we see of Perreault, the more we like, he was chosen as the Caps "Hard Hat" award winner tonight and the rest of the team took his lead once he scored.
The Mike Knuble, Brendan Morrison and Brooks Laich line, continues to demonstrate wonderful chemistry. So many of the goals this evening were of the scrambly variety; sharp angle shots, rebounds and tip-ins and this line excels in those situations. Florida goalie, Scott Clemmensen had an off night, again, against Washington. He did not fare well against the Caps last year while with the Devils and he didn't manage to give the Panthers the big stop they needed in the third when the Capitals were pouring on the pressure.
Jose Theodore gets the win in net for the Caps. I know that he would have liked to have been sharper with some of the rebounds that he allowed, that led to Florida tallies. Whenever Washington gives up four goals they are never pleased, even when they bag seven. Up next three well deserved days of rest for the boys. That can only help the likes of Ovechkin, Green, Schultz, and Gordon, all of whom are nursing various aliments but for now, the Southeast division lead is significant.
The Capitals have re-assigned forward Chandler Stephenson to AHL Hershey after a brief call-up to the NHL, the team announced Tuesday.
Stephenson, 22, was recalled on Saturday as a precaution and was a healthy scratch for the team's games on Sunday and Monday.
Washington has been playing with the minimum of 12 forwards at home. With the Caps facing a quick turnaround with a game in Washington on Sunday and in Pittsburgh on Monday, the team needed a spare forward in case of an emergency to ensure the team had someone to plug into the lineup if there was an injury.
The Caps returned home after Monday's game in Pittsburgh and have Tuesday off making carrying Stephenson unnecessary. He may be back very soon, however, as the team will almost certainly call up another player prior to leaving for Thursday's game in St. Louis.
In Hershey, Stephenson has scored 23 points this season in 36 games. He played in nine games with the Caps in 2015-16.
RELATED: Prediction recap: Defense was optional in Pittsburgh
It was crazy, it was controversial and unfortunately for the Caps, it was a loss. Washington saw its nine-game win streak come to an end on Monday in a crazy 8-7 overtime loss to the Penguins.
Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions.
1. Washington will not score on the power play - Wrong
Defense was optional on Monday so it is perhaps not surprising that one of the Caps’ seven goals came on the power play. T.J. Oshie struck in the third period to make the score 7-6. More on that later.
RELATED: Williams calls the Caps' loss 'a reality check'
2. Pittsburgh will score three goals or more - More right than I expected
I thought four, maybe five goals on Monday. I didn’t expect eight. You see one of these games every once in awhile where everything just seems to find the back of the net and this was definitely one of them. Things in professional sports always tend to even out. The Caps had four shutouts in six games and were due to allow some goals, I just didn’t expect it to catch up with them all of them in one game.
3. T.J. Oshie will have a multi-point night - Correct
With seven goals, it would have been hard for me to miss on this one. Oshie had three points including his power play goal in the third period for a three-point night.
2017 Results: I finally had a good night with predictions and it was Washington’s first loss in ten games. I’m guessing most readers are going to be rooting against me the next few weeks.
MORE CAPITALS: Caps' win streak snapped in crazy loss to Penguins