The Capitals are now 6-0-1 in their last seven regular season games against Pittsburgh. It was a streak continued Wednesday night by virtue of Mike Knuble’s first-ever shootout success.
Admit it — when Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby tallied in the shootout while Nicklas Backstrom failed, and it was left to sub-30-percent-shootout-shooter Ovi to keep it alive, you thought it was curtains.
- A real turning point Wednesday night was Alexander Semin’s third period, shorthanded strike that knotted the game at 2. If the Penguins instead convert on that man advantage, you have to think we’d likely have seen a different final frame, perhaps even a different outcome.
- Mega-weird stat: the Caps are now 7-0-1 on the season when allowing 40 or more shots on net.
- John Carlson had a strong game, in this blogger’s eyes. While Gabby in his postgame comments didn’t seem to think it was his best performance, Carlson did have a shot ring off the post and played two solid shifts in overtime. The longer he stays in Washington the stronger he seems to get as a player, and JC himself said he is getting more comfortable with the NHL by the day.
- Alex Semin had a one-track mind, all on the offensive track. He sure didn’t play a good two-way game last night, but Semin was stellar in the offensive zone. Between taking it coast-to-coast to score a shorty and his numerous chances, he was the team’s best offensive threat. Without him, there is no way Washington pulls out the win.
- Can there really be said to be any uncertainty, and drama left with the question as to who will enter the postseason no. 1 in net for the Caps?
- Did Jason Chimera suddenly forget how to shoot? Several fans may have thought he had after he passed up several golden opportunities in order to pass the puck. Some of Chimera’s errors included passing to no one, passing in front of a wide open net, passing somewhat carelessly across the ice, passing to the other team, and just straight up not shooting. He easily left one or two goals on the ice.
- As of the start of last night’s game only four Capitals were negative skaters in +/- on the season, and three of those four didn’t start the year with Washington. Joe Corvo, Scott Walker, Jason Chimera and Tyler Sloan are the only players on the Washington roster who are currently negative on the year. Corvo has the lowest +/- at -7. Of the four, only Sloan and Corvo are negative during their time with Washington, at -1.
- Finally, while Verizon Center was wonderfully redded-out Wednesday, shame on all the Caps’ fans who sold their seats for a few bucks, and whose seats fell into the hands of the devil-enemy. I know the economy is rough, but one should never ever do a deal with the devil-enemy. The fan breakdown at the Verizon Center was probably 80 to 85 percent Caps fans and 15 to 20 percent Penguins’ fans. It should be closer to 95 percent Caps fans in a rivalry game. Let’s hope all of you Judases who sold your tickets charged them at least quadruple the face value price. But I also think it’s fair to question your loyalty with such a transaction. If you’re called out of town for business as pucksandbooks was this week, how about offering the tickets to family or friends who haven’t attended a game this season, or even better, donating them to an under-priviledged youth association or the like? I have to think there’d be no shortage of hockey fans in Hershey who’d have made the trip down mid-week for the big game. Let’s hope this virus isn’t replicated in any postseason showdown with the Pens.