Last night's crowd of 16,263 - a legitimate 16,263, the largest crowd of the season - saw the Caps take care of business by playing a physical and up-tempo game against a team that had played a similar game the night before. Despite being 0-for-7 on the power play before the Rangers even got a man advantage of their own, the Caps got an early goal from Boyd Gordon, a couple of softies from Alex Ovechkin and Matt Pettinger that went through Henrik Lundqvist's gaping five-hole, and phenomenal goaltending from Olie Kolzig en route to the 3-1 win. For those of you keeping score at home, the last four Capitals wins have come against teams that had 100 or more points last year (New York, Ottawa, Philly and Calgary).
The WaPo has their recap here, the WTimes here, but there were a couple other points from last night that deserve mention:
- Besides scoring his first goal since Christ was in diapers (Oct. 11, 2003 to be precise), Gordon was 9-for-11 (82%) in the faceoff circle. In fact, the Caps dominated the night in the dot, winning 34 of the 56 draws (61%). Dainius Zubrus was a very impressive 17-of-25 (68%).
- The defensive pairing of Brian Pothier and Shaone Morrisonn did a fantastic job containing the Jaromir Jagr line, and Morrisonn was acknowledged for his efforts with the game's third star, despite being held off the score sheet. Pothier logged an NHL-high 30:35 last night.
- The Donald finally dropped the gloves for the first time this season, and he made quick work of Colton Orr. When my wife asked why it took him so long to get into a fight this year, I told her that when you're that good a fighter, you don't need to fight very often. Certainly the case with Brash. UPDATE: Video, via OWO:
- John Erskine looked pretty good and even picked up a helper on the Ovechkin goal. It was only the
thirdsixth point of Erskine's career (all assists)in 143 NHL games.
- The Caps have five regulation losses so far on the 2006-07 season and each of those has been followed with a win in the next game.
- On October 28, Secondary Sid netted a hat trick against the AHL Philadelphia Flyers. Since then, he has taken 8 shots on goal in six games and hasn't scored a goal. He does, however, have seven assists over that stretch - three primary and four secondary. Must be nice having Evgeni Malkin to carry your water, eh, Sid? Perhaps not coincidentally, Pittsburgh is 1-3-2 over the six game span.
- Hart: Daniel Briere (Game-tying and OT-winning goals, +2, 6 SOG)
- Ross: Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle, Kyle Wellwood, Petr Nedved, Slava Kozlov (3 points each)
- Norris: Bryan McCabe (2G, A, 3 SOG, 3 hits, 1 takeaway, 0 giveaways, 1 blocked shot)
- Vezina: Olie Kolzig (W, 41 saves on 42 shots against)
- Richard: Marian Hossa, Glen Murray, Daniel Briere, Chris Neil, Randy Robitaille, Bryan McCabe (2G each)
- Calder: Drew Stafford (G, 3 SOG)
- Aiken: David Aebischer (L, 4 goals allowed on 28 shots in 37:33 of work)