Erat produces in 4-1 Capitals win over Columbus

Erat produces in 4-1 Capitals win over Columbus
October 19, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night at Verizon Center:

How it Happened: Promoted from the fourth line to the second, Marty Erat enjoyed his most productive night as a Capital, assisting on goals by Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin as the Capitals [3-5-0] won for just the third time this season.

Holtbeast: Braden Holtby was spectacular, stopping 37 of 38 shots for his second victory of the season. He lost his shutout with 4:55 remaining in the third period when Artem Anisimov beat him.

Hit of the Game: Midway through the second period three Blue Jackets tried to converge on Tom Wilson and turned themselves into a three-man collision. Wilson was the only one left standing and Columbus defenseman Nikita Nikitin skated off holding his arm in pain.

Save of the Game: It wasn’t actually a save, but Holtby darted out of his crease to break up an excellent scoring chance by Cam Atkinson about 7 minutes into the second period, who sprawled to the ice. Moments later, Steve Oleksy stickhandled around Atkinson and Brooks Laich fired in Oleksy’s rebound for a 2-0 lead.

No Grabo: Adam Oates made a few changes to his power-play units, replacing Mikhail Grabovski with Marcus Johansson on the top unit and going with Marty Erat, Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer on the second.

Hockey Fights Cancer: Before the game the Capitals wore lavender-trimmed jerseys that were auctioned off during the game. Several players, including Mike Green and Tom Wilson, wore bright pink skate laces. Eleven-year-old Virginian Luke Dietrich, a cancer survivor dropped the ceremonial first puck and was handed the puck by Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

Chasing Crosby: Alex Ovechkin picked up his seventh goal of the season and fourth on the power play. He now has 10 points, but that Kid in Pittsburgh is already starting to run away from the competition. Sidney Crosby has 17 points [7 goals, 10 assists] in eight games.

Family Ties: Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson has a brother, Kenny, who plays at Shattuck St. Mary’s and is teammates with Graham McPhee, the son of Caps GM George McPhee.

Poker Face: On the scoreboard between periods, Caps players were asked who is the worst poker player on the team. Alex Ovechkin won the award with six votes, followed by Jason Chimera [2] and Mike Green [1].

What’s Ahead: The Caps have a scheduled day off on Sunday and will return to practice on Monday at Kettler, their last before beginning a five-game road trip that begins in Winnipeg Tuesday night.