March 30, 2008

Capitals Vs Panthers 03/29/2008 Review

Photo - AP
With 32 saves from Cristobal Huet, the Washington Capitals shutout the Florida Panthers. The convincing win by the Cap's eliminates the Panthers from the playoff race. Netminder Huet has now won six straight starts. Viktor Kozlov (3), Alexander Ovechkin (2) and Tom Poti (2), all three had a multi point game in Washington's 40th victory of the season.
The Capitals came out buzzing right away in the first period. Washington outshot Florida 10-6 in the first 20 minutes. That sixth shot on goal by the Panthers, was the only one they could manage in the last ten minutes of the period. So, both the offense and the defense were working pretty well for Washington. However, Florida's goalie Tomas Vokoun kept the Cap's out of the net, while Huet was doing the same against the Panthers in the Caps' end, during the first.

Photo - Hans Deryk / AP

The second period started off with a Panthers' breakaway. But, Huet came up with the big save on Jozef Stumpel. On a little give and go play with Brooks Laich, it was Viktor Kozlov who put the Cap's on the board first at 2:48. Tom Poti got the first of his two helpers on this play, as he was the one who got the puck deep into the zone for Kozlov. Big bad John Erskine and the other defenseman cleared the crease in front of Washington's goal, and Nicklas Backstrom, Matt Cooke and Brooks Laich were getting their shots on Panthers' net. Then it was Caps' defenseman Mike Green who put Washington ahead by two with just over five minutes left in the second. From the right side of the net, Alex Ovechkin passed the puck to Green on the left side. Green put it past Vokoun for his 18th goal of the season. Mike continues to lead all real NHL defenseman in goals. The Panthers' Jassen Cullimore was called for hooking Boyd Gordon right before the horn. Gordon was at the right post, about to tip in number three.
In the third period Erskine and Cooke continued to put big hits on the Panthers, and Huet continued to make the big saves. The Capitals' third goal came at 11:32. Poti cleared the puck from the Caps' zone to Kozlov, who skated the puck across the top of the Panthers' crease while being hooked. Ovechkin collected the puck, and his wrister went in for his 62nd goal of this season. Later in the period, the Panthers did make a little bit of a push. But, Washington clogged up the slot, making it impossible to get through to the net.

Photo - Steve Nesius / AP

Including this last road game of the season, the Capitals have won eight of their last nine games. This is only the third time this season that Washington has won four straight. The last two times coming in these last nine games. They have yet to get five straight. They may have to win all of their remaining games to make the playoffs. All three of the Capitals' remaining games will be played at home, next week. They seem to be pretty hot right now. So, we still have hope.


Anonymous said...

Regardless of what happens in these next three home games, all Capital fans should be damn proud of this team this year. Boudreau should undoubtedly win the Jack Adams Award.

Dan, Jr. said...

Aneesa - I totally agree with you on both points. A point total increase of about 30% over the previous season is one hell of an improvement. Especially considering the awful start and all the long term injuries to key players. BB better get that Jack Adams Award!


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