Saturday, January 27, 2007

Caps Return Favor

Avenge Lopsided Loss in Raleigh With An Easy Win In DC
Washington Capitals 7, Carolina Hurricanes 3

The Caps needed this type of game in a big way. After starting out the second half of the season looking like a team completely lost, they came out tonight a determined team and jumped all over the Hurricanes.

Newly recalled winger Eric Fehr started out the game doing his best Klepis impersonation, taking a pointless offensive zone holding penalty just three minutes into the game. But after the Caps killed off the penalty, they took control of the game. They scored three times before the Hurricanes even knew what hit them.

Alexander Semin led a two-on-one break with Brooks Laich and after holding the puck, debating whether or not to pass, ripped a wrist shot off the top right corner of the goal post and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. Ovechkin would follow that up with a power play goal after Carolina defenseman Dennis Seidenberg turned the puck over and it found its way right to the front of the net. Semin would complete the barrage of goals when he pick pocketed Erik Cole from the Caps blue line and streaked down the ice on a breakaway. He beat Cam Ward once again to the top right corner for his second of the night and 29th of the season. When will the goalies in the NHL learn that he loves to shoot to their glove side?

After the quick start though, Carolina looked to make a game of it by scoring twice within a minute to close the gap to 3-2 at the end of the first period. Justin Williams' 26th and Erik Cole's 22nd send the Caps to the locker room shaking their heads in frustration. But luckily, that would be as close as they would get.

A hard fought second period went scoreless until the 15th minute, when Semin stole the puck in the offensive zone and then Eric Fehr stole the puck of his stick and deposited it past Ward short side over his blocker pad. The goal was Fehr's first in the NHL in his 14th career game.

The third period was all Washington. On a delayed penalty call that gave the Caps a six-on-five advantage, Ovechkin made a tremendous individual move and Kris Beech was the beneficiary of his pass, rifling a shot past Ward for his 6th of the season and a 5-2 lead. Carolina would try to get back in the game, scoring on a power play goal by David Tanabe, his 1st of the season, to make it 5-3. However, that was as close as the Hurricanes could get as goals by Clark, his 21st, and Laich shorthanded, his 5th, made the final 7-3 before a raucous Verizon Center crowd of 16,924.

Game Notes:

Alex Ovechkin extended his point streak to 11 games, tying his career high set last season. He also has 12 assists in the month of January ranking him third in the NHL.... Brian Pothier missed his 3rd consecutive game.... Richard Zednik could return from the injured reserve list and play on Tuesday in Ottawa... Alexander Semin now has 5 multiple goal games in January. He has 17 points in his last 10 games.... The Hershey Bears gave up 3 third period goals and lost to the first place Norfolk Admirals 4-3.

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