Sunday, February 4, 2007

Caps Get Much Needed Victory

Alexander Semin Provides Shootout Goal to Win Defensive Game
Washington Capitals 2, New York Islanders 1 F/SO
(Photos courtesy of Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP)

The second consecutive defensively dominated game this time ended with a win after Alexander Semin scored on the opening chance of the shootout.

That spoiled the return of former Capitals Brendan Witt and Chris Simon, who both played in Washington for the first time since departing from the team.

The Caps finally were able to strike first, avoiding their recent routine of having to play catchup, when Richard Zednik did his best Semin impersonation trying to score on a wrap around opportunity. Islanders' goaltender Rick DiPietro was able to lunge and stop the chance by laying his stick along the goal line. However, the rebound was left in perfect position for Matt Pettinger who sped towards the goal and desposited the loose puck into the back of the net for the early 1-0 just 2:52 in.

The Islanders were able to answer just 27 seconds into the second period as the struggling Capitals power play allowed a short handed goal to tie the score at 1-1. Matt Sillinger found himself all alone in the front of the net and beat Kolzig after he had made the save on a Trent Hunter shot from the corner. It was his 17th of the season and would be the last of the scoring until the shootout.

The game was marred by glass problems as there were delays on five different occasions. Two of the delays, one in the second and third, each lasted eight minutes long and saw both teams take the ice to warm back up before play resumed. The second period alone took 43 minutes to play.

After the frustration of the shutout loss in Pittsburgh yesterday this win was greatly needed for the Caps. Ovechkin had broken his stick and slammed locker room doors following Saturday's game. The team still has three more games this week at home against the Bruins on Tuesday, the Kings on Thursday, and the Rangers on Saturday. Now is the time for them to make a run if they have any chance to get back in the playoff race.

Game Notes:

It was the first time this season Alex Ovechkin has gone scoreless in consecutive games.... Matt Bradley returned to the lineup for the first time since the All-Star break. He took Ben Clymer's spot in the lineup.... Frederic Cassivi was recalled to backup Kolzig after Daren Machesney was sent down to the Hershey Bears... For the second consecutive game Milan Jurcina led the team in ice time recording 25:47.... Kolzig had 31 saves in the win.... With the two points the Caps moved out of the cellar in the Southeast Division and into 12th in the Eastern Conference.

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