April 19, 2008

Flyers Vs Capitals 04/19/2008 EC Quarterfinal Game 5 Review

Flyers 2 - Capitals 3

Before today's first round playoffs Game 5, the Washington Capitals' head coach Bruce Boudreau said "I'm not ready to go home yet". Thanks to their win today against the Philadelphia Flyers, there will be at least one more game. Every player on the Capitals' team chipped in and made a difference in this match.

Washington got 5 on 3 power play in the first period, after Philadelphia's Jeff Carter was called for interference on Mike Green, and then Kimmo Timonen joined him in the penalty box after hooking Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals kept play in the offensive zone. After grabbing his own rebound, Brooks Laich shuttled the puck to Alex Semin. Semin fired a pass to the net, where Nicklas Backstrom sent the back door wrist shot past Martin Biron for the first goal of the game at 7:31. The Capitals held the Flyers to only four shots in the first. They more than matched Philadelphia's physical play. Just before the period ended, Ovechkin hit Jim Dowd so hard, Dowd nearly ended up on the players' bench.

Just 1:25 into the second period, the Capitals increased the lead to two goals. Viktor Kozlov pushed Scottie Upshall away from the puck, behind the Flyers' net. He skated it toward the corner, drawing two defenders away from the front of the goal. He passed the puck to a wide open Sergei Fedorov, who backhanded in his 51st career playoff goal. Mike Green also got his first of two assists in the game on the play. It took 11:10 and a couple really lame penalty calls on the Cap's for the Fly's to answer back. Mike Richards sent the puck to Danny Briere on the left side of the goal, drawing over netminder Cristobal Huet. After Huet was committed, he slide the puck to the other side, where Vinny Prospal sent it to the back of the net. Washington was able to keep Philadelphia's shots down to seven in this middle period.

Around five minutes into the third period, Philadelphia's R.J. Umberger had me laughing pretty hard. He tried to draw a penalty by starting something with Donald Brashear. To me, the inevitable pounding of a lifetime just wouldn't be worth it. Donald wasn't falling for that trick. With the Cap's ahead, it just wasn't the right time. About a minute after the Flys' Scott Hartnell went to the box for hooking at 13:38, I got another good chuckle. The score sheet shows assists by Green and Fedorov. But, when Semin sent in his net seeking missile at 14:33, it had to make it's way through no less than seven bodies before reaching the back of the net. I stopped laughing for a little bit, when Philadelphia's Derian Hatcher scored less than a minute later, with the help of Prospal and Briere. But, by the time the Fly's iced the puck with minute and a half left in the game, I was smiling pretty big again.

This was a great game on so many levels. The Capitals played very hard and very smart. They didn't let themselves get rattled by the energetic and often dirty play of the Flyers, or the inconsistent officiating. Washington finished their checks, blocked shots and kept their sticks in the lanes. Tom Poti had what may have been two goal saving poke checks, deep within the Caps' end during the second and third periods. John Erskine was excellent in his role again, putting a fair amount of fear into any Flyers who might want to hang out in Washington's crease or take liberties with his teammates. Donald Brashear had seven hits in his 6:52 of ice time, six within the first period alone. Alexander Semin seems to be maturing, playing more physically and smarter than ever before. Ovechkin went goalless again, but he's starting to get open more often. With his increasing chances, it's only a matter of time. He and his Capitals mates will get more time Monday, during their EC Quarterfinals Playoff Game 6.

All Photos - Len Redkoles / Getty images

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...