The Washington Capitals hosted the Edmonton Oilers last night at Verizon Center. Wow, there are so many things that could be featured as the high point. Braden Holtby’s shutout. Jason Arnott’s 900th NHL career point, Dennis Wideman’s 200th NHL career point, Alex Ovechkin moving to third place on the Capitals all time scoring list, Eric Fehr notching two goals in his return from a 22 game absence, Marco Sturm’s first point as a Capital, the dreadful decisions of Nikolai Khabibulin that led to two of the Capitals’ goals, the Capitals sixth win in a row…feel free to stop me any time. So, just go to the regular places like Japer’s Rink and Russian Machine, and Ed Frankovic. And, of course, don’t forget the Capitals Outsider box score.
Look at my photos here or on flickr.
With three newly acquired players, the Washington Capitals started strong against the New York Islanders registering 9 shots on goal in the first 7 minutes, but failed to score and only managed two more shots in the next 13 minutes. With that drop in shots, the energy just started seeping out of the building. Eventually, it came back in the form of boos when despite the additions of Jason Arnott, Dennis Wideman, and Marco Sturm the Capitals power play was just as dismal as ever.
Still, the new guys all brought something. Sturm was robbed on a early breakaway chance. Wideman laid a nice hip check on John Tavares, and Arnott set up Brooks Laich’s game typing goal with 48 seconds left in the third.
The new players also appeared to bring some kind of change in attitude to the game. It was visible in their body language during stops in play and on the bench. When coach Bruce Boudreau called a time out just before Laich’s goal, there was something clearly different in how the players were standing next to each other and listening to Boudreau’s instructions. It was good. Very good. And it worked.
Alex Ovechkin’s game winning overtime goal was one of the few highlight reel quality goals we’ve seen him score this year. A couple of my photos of him celebrating…well, they’re a primary reason why I bring my camera to nearly every game. There is something I really like about being able to catch that joy, that emotion in a moment.
Anyway, read about the game at Russian Machine, Japer’s Rink, Caps News Network and Ed Frankovic’s blog and don’t forget to check out the box score on Captials Outsider. Look at my photos below or on flickr.