January 15, 2008

Senators Vs Capitals 01/15/2008 Review

Senators 2 - Capitals 4
Both the Ottawa Senators and the Washington Capitals entered this match without some of their players. WashingtonCaps.com's senior writer, Mike Vogal listed them in his game preview. The Capitals are once again without their Captain - Chris Clark, who reinjured his groin in his comeback against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Worse yet, Michael Nylander is now out for the season because of a shoulder injury he received in a game several weeks ago. He has been playing through the pain. He has now decided to have rotator cuff surgery, and he's off to a hospital in Cleveland where he will have the operation tomorrow morning.

Overall, the first period wasn't terribly exciting. The Senators did start off strong as expected. After all, they were trying to keep from getting swept by a team that most didn't think would defeat them in the other three times they faced Washington this season. The one thing that did get some reaction from the Caps was when Ottawa's Chris Neil ran right over goalie Brent Johnson at the top of the crease. Apparently, it was decided that Johnny was fair game since he was (just barely) outside the crease. But, the team and the fans thought there should've been a penalty called anyway, since he didn't have the puck at the time. The period ended with no score.

Just 47 seconds into the second, Mike Green got the first goal before time ran out on the Power Play left over from the first period. Washington's Viktor Kozlov passed the puck from the far corner, and Green put it past Ottawa's Ray Emery. Alexander Semin also assisted. The Cap's defence was working pretty well for a while. John Erskine's name came up a few times, as he made some nice defensive plays. Almost at the mid point of the game, the Capitals had killed off two consecutive penalties, as Boyd Gordon cleared the puck from their end of the ice. But then, the Senators scored twice in less than a two minute span. Both were of the ugly ricochet variety. The first, from a Dean McAmmond backhand deflection at 13:41. The second was a Wade Redden wrist shot at 15:03. The Senators appeared to be overcoming whatever spell that the Capitals have had on them. However, 23 seconds later, Alexander Semin put them right back under. He was hanging out at the blue line. When Joe Corvo made a cross ice pass heading out of the Senator's zone, Semin picked it off. He deked past Redden, then strolled in and sent a wrister to the roof of the net. The second ended tied 2-2.
The third period was pretty intense. It was obvious both teams wanted the win. Washington's Nicklas Backstrom was named one of the NHL's Young Stars earlier today. The Young Stars will compete next weekend in Atlanta, as will the All Stars. He will be joining teammate Alexander Ovechkin, who was previously added to the Eastern Conference's 2008 NHL All Star Team. However, neither the Senators or the referees were showing him any respect. Backstom was upended while driving to the net, no call - typical. Later on, Ottawa's Chris Neil found himself between a rock and a hard place - Washington's John Erskine and Donald Brashear. The Senator's Antoine Vermette didn't seem to get the message. He was called for tripping Mr. Backstrom at 8:33. It worked out for the best though. At 9:11, Alex Ovechkin sent a Brooks Laich rebound past Emery via seven hole, while heavily screened. That PP goal put the Caps ahead for good. It was Ovie's 34th goal of the season. Then, just over two minutes later, Tomas Fleischmann passed the puck from behind Ottawa's net to Alexander Semin, who sent the puck into the net for the final tally. Tom Poti and the rest of the Caps' defence did a fine job holding off the Senators the rest of the way. Daniel Alfredsson "accidentally" high sticked Quintin Laing within the last minute. But, the teeth that might have been knocked out, have already been gone for a while.
So, the Caps sweep the Sens for the first time since the 1995-1996 season. There's a lot of shocked and most likely angry fans in Ottawa tonight. The crowd in Washington, DC however, showed how happy they were with a standing ovation.

All Photos - Getty Images


Shmee said...

It was a great game. I brought the fam to this one, and they were on the edge of their seats.

Dan, Jr. said...

Hey Shmee!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Schedules changed, and I didn't have my Hockey Buddy (14 yr. old daughter) with me. I was on the edge of my couch. However, I was celebrating like I was at VC. The neighbors must really wonder if I've lost my mind.


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