Beninati: New Caps Neuvirth & Carlson

Beninati: New Caps Neuvirth & Carlson

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Caps almost pulled the rabbit out of their hat in the final threeminutes tonight but a determined Carey Price and a Canadiens defenseemerged with a hard fought victory.

Any team coached by Jacques Martinis going to be structurally sound in the neutral zone and Montrealproved to be very frustrating to Washington's speedsters.

After alackadaisical start in the first ten minutes, Mathieu Perreault andEric Fehr continued to demonstrate good chemistry together and theyclicked to give the Capitals the lead. Fehr put that snap shot awaylike the goal scorer the club hopes he can be.

That gave surprisestarter Michal Neuvirth a lead to protect in goal for the home team.Neuvirth was victimized by two deflection goals and a bullet power playtally from Mike Cammalleri. Otherwise the 21-year-old net minder wassolid, not necessarily spectacular.

The Caps broke in 19-year-olddefender John Carlson tonight, and it was great to see the emotionalreactions of his family, particular his mom Angela in the stands. Theyoung man didn't appear flustered much by his surroundings. He threwhis weight around, he ripped a hard shot off the post, and kept hiscomposure as his ice time mounted.

The Caps lost Tom Poti to an upperbody injury in the 2nd period, which means they are likely to recallanother blue liner from Hershey in time for Saturday night's action inToronto.

The fans were treated to a big time strap between GeorgesLaraque and John Erskine in the first period. Erskine more than heldhis own against one of the league's heavyweight champs.

You could makethe argument the Caps outplayed the Canadiens this evening. Montrealwas bound and determined to hook and hold and slow the tempo down, andthey squeaked out the victory. Now we turn our attention to the Capsand Maple Leafs tomorrow at Air Canada Center. You can find that gameon CSN.

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Jakub Vrana reassinged to Hershey as Zach Sanford makes the most of his oppotunity

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Jakub Vrana reassinged to Hershey as Zach Sanford makes the most of his oppotunity

The Capitals reassigned forward Jakub Vrana to Hershey on Sunday following their game against the New York Rangers. Vrana and Zach Sanford were both recalled when the Caps returned from the bye week.

With Andre Burakovsky out of the lineup with a hand injury, the team needed to recall two players: One to insert into the lineup, the other to serve as the 13th forward in case of an unforeseen injury. With two of the team's top forwards recalled, it looked as if Vrana and Sanford would get a chance to compete for Burakovsky's spot on the third line while the he recovered. If that was the case, Sanford appears to have won that competition...for now.

RELATED: Despite loss, Caps starting to find their game

Vrana, a first-round draft pick from the 2014 draft, is seen as having the higher ceiling than Sanford. Sanford, however, scored the game-winning goal in Washington's final game before the bye week against the Anaheim Ducks. That, as well as his strong play in Hershey, earned him the first crack at the lineup.

“He went down after scoring his first goal, traveled all morning, played an afternoon game in [Bridgeport] and was the [Bears’] best player,” Trotz said at practice Friday. “So he should get the first crack at that position.”

Sanford took full advantage as he scored again on Saturday. With Vrana's reassignment, it now appears Burakovsky's spot on the third line is Sanford's to lose.

But Vrana's reassignment could be a temporary one.

The Caps have a day off on Monday, then return to practice on Tuesday and play in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The team has not been shy about moving players back and forth between Hershey in between road games. They may choose to recall Vrana or another forward prior to Wednesday's game.

For now, however, Sanford appears to have earned himself at least a temporary spot in the lineup.

MORE CAPITALS: Prediction recap: Caps can't solve Henrik Lundqvist

No. 20 Creighton gets revenge on Georgetown at home

No. 20 Creighton gets revenge on Georgetown at home

OMAHA, Neb. -- Marcus Foster scored a career-high 35 points and No. 20 Creighton broke open the game early in the second half in an 87-70 victory over Georgetown on Sunday.

Creighton (22-5, 9-5 Big East) shot 53 percent while avenging a 20-point road loss to the Hoyas on Jan 25. Georgetown (14-13, 5-9) shot just 38.5 percent in its first game since Feb. 11 and was 3 of 22 from 3-point range.

Isaiah Zierden added 13 points and Justin Patton and Cole Huff had 10 apiece for the Bluejays.

L.J. Peak, held to two points over the first 16 minutes, finished with 23 to lead Georgetown.

Khyri Thomas, scoreless in the first half, blocked Peak's shot from under the basket and then hit a 3-pointer during a 19-6 run that gave Creighton a 60-44 lead. The spurt also featured two 3s by Foster and a couple of dunks by Patton, who was on the bench for the last 8 minutes of the first half with two fouls.

The Hoyas looked to be gaining momentum as they pulled within 66-55, but then they went scoreless for nearly 4 1/2 minutes.

Rodney Pryor added 16 points and Jessie Govan had 12 for the Hoyas.

Foster was 13 of 19 from the field and finished his big game with a 3-pointer in the final minute.

The Bluejays rode the shooting of Foster and Huff to a 41-33 halftime lead. Foster and Huff combined for 25 first-half points on 11-of-16 shooting. The Hoyas were 1 for 8 from 3-point range and committed 10 turnovers in the first half.