November 14, 2008

Capitals Vs Hurricanes 11/12/2008 Review

Nicklas Backstrom scores his first goal of the season.
November 12, 2008 Photo by Karl B. DeBlaker / AP

Capitals 5 - Hurricanes 1

The Washington Capitals won their fourth straight hockey game, downing the Carolina Hurricanes in convincing fashion in Wednesday night's NHL action. All of Washington's goals came while their top line was on the ice, with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and defenseman Mike Green all putting in a multiple point effort.

About five minutes into the fast paced game, Alexander Semin picked off a pass from Carolina's Tim Gleason near the blue line in Washington's end. Semin took the puck into the Hurricanes end before dishing it to Alex Ovechkin. Netminder Michael Leighton met him at the top of the goal crease, but Ovechkin put the puck in the net behind him. Just after the midpoint of the first period, Semin got his 12th goal of the season. Nicklas Backstrom won the offensive zone faceoff, sending the puck to Mike Green. Green's slapshot hit the end wall and the puck went right to Semin, who sent it in far side top shelf. At 11:51, Scott Walker scored Carolina's only goal of the game in the same way, on a power play. Then, less than three minutes later, Washington answered back with a PP goal of their own on a slapshot courtesy of Mike Green. Semin and Backstrom were the helpers on that one. Unfortunately, while Brent Johnson was putting in another solid game, he ended up with a hip injury while making save midway through the first period, which was aggravated or worsened later when he made a sprawling save on an over anxious Ryan Bayda just before the end of the first period. He played out the time remaining on the clock, but was replaced by Jose Theodore for the final 40 minutes.

Semin scored again in the second period, and Backstrom got his first goal of the season in the third. Ovechkin got the primary assist on both. Backstrom also helped on Semin's second goal, while Semin got an assist for the Backstrom goal. The game was out of reach of the hard working but mistake prone Hurricanes, who were no doubt embarrassed after being outplayed so badly.

As of today, Alexander Semin was the current league leader in goals (13) and points (27). He's also taking care of his defensive duties on the ice, giving him the +/- rating lead (+17). Semin earned a career high 5 points in this game. Backstrom collected 4 points, while Ovechkin and Green each managed 2 points. With Theodore playing so well in the second and third periods, the only bad part of the story is losing Johnson to injury. He's had such a great run to start off this season. It would be a big shame if he is out for very long. The next two games are a home and home against the New Jersey Devils.

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