April 22, 2008

Capitals Vs Flyers 04/22/2008 EC Quarterfinal Game 6 Review

Capitals 4 - Flyers 2

The Washington Capitals evened up their first round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers with another win last night. They had to come back after getting behind by two, but they've been there before. They seem to have a strong need for the dramatic. None of the players more so than Alex Ovechkin, who scored the game winner and an extra insurance goal.

The Capitals looked just a touch out of sinc in the first period. They kept the pressure on. But, they committed turnover after turnover. Eventually, the Flyers were able to take advantage and went ahead on power play goal by Mike Richards, with Matt Bradley in the penalty box for hooking. Washington had their share of scoring chances, seven to the Flyers five. Brooks Laich had three shots on goal in the first. Another bright spot in the period was a massive open ice hit on a Flyers defender by Mike Green.

The second period didn't start off to well either. Philadelphia got their second PP goal at 1:18, on a strike by their hottest hand, Danny Briere. That's Briere's sixth goal and tenth point in the series. However, the Cap's took over from that point. Cristobal Huet made 16 saves for Washington in the period. Martin Biron had 15 saves of his own, but he was looking a bit shaky. Capitals' defenseman Tom Poti made a couple nice saves also. He's been very alert by the net lately, making kick saves and diving poke checks. While Washington was increasing the pressure on Philadelphia, the Flyers increased their physical play. That aggressive "physical" play included some dirty tricks as usual, some of which was detected by the officials.

Drawing toward the mid point of the game, Nicklas Backstrom got his second goal of the playoffs. It started with a long range outlet pass by Steve Eminger, who's played very well, even with limited ice time. Brooks Laich received the puck and sent it on to Alexander Semin. Semin and Backstrom seemed to be casually passing the puck back and forth uncontested, before Nick snapped it by Biron at 9:34. The Cap's didn't make good on any of their power play chances in this frame, but they did have success at even strength. After Laich loosened up the puck with a nice hit on Briere, they struck again at 18:03. John Erskine sent in a hard shot. Semin followed it up and popped in the rebound for the tying goal. That was Semin's third goal of the playoffs. He now has a four game point streak.

Less than three minutes into the third period, Alex Ovechkin ended his four game goalless streak. The Flyers turned over the puck, and Viktor Kozlov fed a pass to Ovechkin. Alex accelerated up the ice, leaving everyone behind. One leg pump, and then he sent the game winner into the net. At 10:19, Philadelphia got caught with too many men on the ice. A problem the Cap's have been suffering from. It only took 22 seconds for Washington to take advantage of the opportunity. Sergei Fedorov tipped the puck into the offensive zone. After he recaptured the puck, he sent it over to Brooks Laich. Laich fed it to Ovechkin, who slapped in his second goal of the game. The Flyers seemed to ease up a little bit at this point. They didn't give up completely, but some of their fans did. The rest of the crowd started booing their team, with two minutes left on the clock. The Capitals didn't show a lot of excitement at this point. They remained calm as time ran out, knowing that they aren't done yet.

Philadelphia didn't want a Game 7, but they're going to get one. Don't expect them to lay down and let the Cap's roll over them. They're most likely going to give it all they've got tonight. Let's hope the Washington does the same.

Photo of Alex Ovechkin - Tom Mihalek / AP
Other Photos - Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

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