Caps beat Devils 5-1, Andrew Gordon Scores First NHL Goal

gordo
First of many for Andrew Gordon. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

That is how you do it! The Washington Capitals have done the unthinkable: playing two smart games back to back.

Who better to get us started that Andrew Gordon? His goal-crashing shot off a speedy Marcus Johansson pass was the night’s first goal and the first of Andrew’s NHL career. (We knew you could do it!) The Devils responded with a Patrik Elias whizzer from above the circles, expertly screened by former Cap Danius Zubrus. Hershey’s own Jay Beagle returned fire with a chip-in up close. On a breakaway. Jason Chimera brushed off a hook and converted. Alex Ovechkin pulled an honest-to-goodness statue-of-liberty play with John Carlson, who launched a neutrino puck into Marty Brodeur’s net. Finally, Mike Knuble gingerly diverted a Tom Poti shot for the free wings. Caps beat Devils 5-1.

  • Andrew Gordon, did you have fun today?
  • Seriously, Gordo had a blast out there, and that’s exactly what the team needed. Crashing an omega-level goalie like Martin Brodeur is a great way to get started in the NHL.  And the kid knows how to celebrate:

  • Alex Ovechkin put one shot on net. Yeah. That’s not going to bust him out of the slump.  Between his malaise and Alex Semin‘s manic-depressive play, it’s a good thing that the Hershey guys are playing like they actually care.
  • The Capitals powerplay was a bummer. Nick Backstrom and Mike Green stood statuesque as the Devils counted the seconds. Alex Ovechkin shifted from the point the crease, where he was welcomed by the Devils PKers with some pops to the head.  No goals and precious few chances, despite five Devils penalties and 1:18 of two-man advantage.
  • NHL goal #1

    NHL goal #1

    Matt Bradley put Anton Volchenkov on the ice with a monster check in the first period. Not sure what happened in the second, but #10 did not return to the ice for the third. 6:44 TOI. UPDATE: Per Mike Vogel, Bradley will miss 2-4 weeks with a broken finger. I am devastated.
  • John Carlson: plus-4 rating, one screaming goal, 24 minutes of great hockey.
  • RockTheRed.net observed this morning: “Chimera looks about ready to break out of his slump, roofing shootout moves.” His penalty-drawing, top-shelf breakaway goal proves that practice pays off.
  • Michal Neuvirth‘s numbers were sterling: 35 saves on 36 shots. Don’t let the offensive resurgence be the only story you take from this game; Neuvy was a star. Hope he’s ready for Thursday, cause he’s going to get the nod.
  • The Devils actually led the Caps in shots 36 to 28. After so many 30+ shot losses, here’s more proof that it’s the quality of the shot that matters more. And if you can measure the shot distance in inches (Beagle, Knuble, Gordon), that’s even better.
Joe B's suit of the night

Joe B's suit of the night

Here comes either the smartest or dumbest analysis ever.  Sure, the Capitals win when they play better, but they also play better when they win. The boys were surging, having fun, connecting on passes, and dominating zone time. And it all started when the Hershey Bears contingent got ‘em started. The attitude was infectious. Even when Ovechkin would flub a shot, his goofy grin stuck around. The goals that felt infuriatingly out of reach came easy tonight, even with a titan in the other net.  That’s Caps hockey: high-octane, high-scoring, fun.

If they keep that energy up, it’s gonna be a good winter.

Pittsburgh on Thursday. I’ll be at a bachelor party in D.C., so Ian will be covering the game. It was nice knowing you all. Go Caps. CRASH THE NET.

  • boutros23

    Could A. Gord be any more handsome? I don’t think so.

  • Tim

    It was awesome to see the grinders come through tonight, especially the Hershey players. 4 goals from Hershey guys in the last two games – simply awesome. The Caps have so much depth – they can stay as a top team for a number of years to come.

  • Red Army Soldier #1337

    I Wish… WISH i could agree with the statue of liberty play… but Carlson himself said it was a poke check. I thought it was a fan myself..

  • Peter Hassett

    @Red Army Soldier,

    You choose to accurately remember it your way, and I’ll deliberately misremember it mine.

  • BobbyG

    It was very nice to see the youngsters come through for the Caps, especially since Ovie, Backstrom and Semin have gone silent scoring goals. Still, a win is a win, which should give the Caps some much needed momentum going into Thursday night’s game against the-team-that-shall-not-be-named.

    Tomorrow’s episode 2 of HBO’s 24/7 will go a lot easier on the eyes.

  • vilma

    I can not tell you how happy I am for this win…specially having Bears scoring and making a dif Keep it coming guys!!!

  • josh

    First line will break out of the slump. Importants thing is,were learning the other lines are capable as well

  • DarkStranger44

    First game I remember where all 4 lines scored. First, A. Gordon scoring for the 3rd line. Then, Beagle for the 4th line. The first line was on the ice when Carlson scored. And finally, the second line scored when the 2 man advantage had expired. Nice work, boys.

  • Avtopilot

    “We want Pittsburgh!”
    “We want Pittsburgh!”
    “We want Pittsburgh!”

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian

    We sure do.

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  • Rockin’ The Red in VA

    Bradley will miss 2-4 weeks with a broken finger. . . . . F M L!

    This timing couldn’t be any worse for a grinder like Brads, with 2 games against Pissburgh coming up, hopefull he heals up in time for the Classic. His presence and toughness will be missed.

    Go Caps!

  • http://make-lemons.com michelle

    i thought for sure RMNB’s recap headline would be “Bears beat Devils” ;)

  • Em

    @DarkStranger44 – I noticed that all four lines scored, too. Atta boys!

  • sharon nields

    We are missing our boys from hershey but they are showing the NHL just what THE BEARS are made of!!! Gordon your smile said it all last night!!! Congrats and continue to show them what your made of!!!!

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  • Peter Hassett

    @michelle,

    The headline was “Bears beat Devils 5-1, Caps Also Played” until Chimmer scored. Great minds, eh?

  • Lindsay

    Please tell me you’ve seen this: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports/Caps–112306789.html

    Love A. Gordon! Awesome night for him :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

    B-E-A-R-S BEARS BEARS BEARS WOOO! =)

  • Sue

    Way to go Andrew, after watching him, Jay, John, Karl, Michal, Mathieu in Hershey it is like watching my kids grow up. Good Job boys, keep it up.

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