Michael Nylander Vs Roberto Luongo - October 13, 2008 Penalty Shot
Canucks 1 - Capitals 5
The Washington Capitals looked to improve their record to 2-1 last night as they faced the Vancouver Canucks in their second home game of the 2008-2009 season. Not only did they win the game, but they took complete control early on and never loosened their grip.
The pucks used in this game seemed to have Alexander Semin seeking devices installed, as they just kept landing on his stick. Semin scored the first goal at 2:54 with a backhand shot from the top of the crease, while skating across on the wrong foot. The primary assist came from Michael Nylander, who had a three point (1 PP Goal, 2 Assists) night himself. The lone goal by Vancouver came from Alexander Edler during a Power Play 1:08 later. As a matter of fact, the Canucks only managed 2 shots on goal in the entire first period. The Capitals on the other hand, fired off a respectable 10. One of those just happened to be Mike Green's third in the three games played so far. The pass to Green from the side of the net, was Nylander's second primary assist.
Capitals celebrate Michael Nylander's penalty shot goal - October 13, 2008.
While Roberto Luongo saw another 15 shots in the second period, Washington's netminder Brent Johnson only faced 1, according to official records. That one shot on goal took a quick movement from one side of the goal mouth to the other, ending in a nice toe save by Brent. Down at the other end of the ice less than a minute later, Boyd Gordon won a faceoff. The puck went to the Capitals' Captain, Chris Clark. Clark immediately spun around and passed it to defenseman Milan Jurcina near the blue line. Jurcina's slapshot sailed through traffic and into the net, putting the Washington ahead by two. Less than a minute later, with the Caps swarming around the net and Vancouver's defensemen literally running into each other, Alexander Semin scored his second goal of the game. Semin used his long reach to grab the puck and pull it in. He dragged it to the front of the goal and roofed it. He now has 3 goals in 3 games. After Canucks' Willie Mitchell shot an abandoned stick at Michael Nylander, Nyles made good on the rare penalty shot opportunity. He glided slowley toward the net, and with a simple deke, easily sent the biscuit past Luongo. While he has at times seemed pretty invisible these first few games of the season, Nicklas Backstrom had a nice drive to the net at the end of the second. He was triple teamed as he went straight through the slot toward the net, but he still managed to get a shot off. Luongo had no trouble stopping this one.
As expected, Luongo was replaced by Curtis Sanford for the third period. But, the damage was already done. Vancouver did manage 7 shots on goal in the final frame, however Johnson wasn't letting anything through. Johnny looked very sharp for a goalie who hadn't seen much action before the third period. Overall, Washington outshot the Canucks 35-10.
Taylor Pyatt looks for puck while Brent Johnson makes save - October 13, 2008.
Brent Johnson earned his 100th win with his fine effort. Alexander Ovechkin was well guarded all night. He may not have scored a goal, but he layed out some Canucks with plenty of crushing blows. The Capitals will get a couple days of rest before heading to Pittsburgh on Thursday to face the Penguins.
All Photos - Luis M. Alvarez / AP