Shutout Number Nine: Caps Embarrassed at Home, 6-0

Rangers score, win 6-0.

Photo credit: Rob Carr

The only good part about tonight: Neil's most recent Capitals Insider post about Ovi was included as part of tonight's Media's Notes.

The one bright spot: Neil's latest Capitals Insider post about Ovi was included as part of game's Media's Notes at Verizon Center.

Shutout and embarrassed by the New York Rangers. Now where have I heard that before? The Caps certainly did their best December 12 impression on Friday night, with the added twist of dropping the game in front of their home fans, who didn’t respond kindly.

“I am absolutely not happy,” said Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau. “I mean our fans deserve better. That’s three games in a row at home. You know, we deserved to get booed there. It’s not fun when you come home and you got the best fans in the world and you play like that.”

The first action in the contest came when Jason Chimera delivered a hard check along the boards to the Rangers’ Michael Sauer, who didn’t take well to Chimera’s rough play. After a little back and forth the two dropped the gloves with neither getting too much of an upper hand. Just under six minutes into the game the period got ugly for the Caps. It started when Mike Green and Derek Stepan went for the puck in the corner with Stepan catching Green with an elbow. The recently injured Green immediately hit the ice, clutching his head before heading to the locker room as soon as play stopped. Just seconds after Green’s injury Steve Eminger gave the Rangers the lead, as the puck knuckled past Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth. At 14:47 in the period Sauer got into the action again setting up Erik Christensen in front of Washington’s net, putting New York up by two. The Capitals would get a chance to rally when Alex Ovechkin skated down the wing, beat Ryan McDonagh, and fired a shot on Rangers ‘keeper Henrik Lundqvist as he slid down the ice on his rear. Sounds familiar, eh? This time, however, Ovi was unsuccessful.

In the second frame, things would only get worse for the Capitals. At 4:19, while on the power play, Christensen would pot his second of the night, set up by an excellent backhand pass from Ryan Callahan. The Caps in-game entertainment crew responded by playing “Unleash the Fury” much earlier than usual. But that did little to stop Washington’s poor play as later in the period Stepan would extend New York’s lead to four after a misplay by Neuvirth.

In the third, the Rangers put a five-spot on the Caps when Vinny Prospal flicked a wrist shot over Neuvirth’s shoulder. But that wouldn’t be it. Brian Boyle would extend the lead once again in the waining moments of the game. Are you still reading? Rangers rout Caps, 6-0.

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Video: Derek Stepan’s Headshot on Mike Green

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports that the NHL will review the hit. If this isn’t the definition of a headshot, I don’t know what is. Do you think Stepan should be suspended? Let us know in the comments below.

UPDATE: Steve Zipay, who covers the Rangers for Newsday, reports that Stepan will not be suspended. However, Bob McKenzie of TSN tweeted that Stepan has been fined for his actions.

Recently, Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov was interviewed by the Russian show “Hockey of Russia”, taking part in their video column “Without a Helmet.” Basically, the premise of the segment is that a helmet full of printed out questions are sent in by the viewers. The helmet is then handed to an unsuspecting player who must pick questions out and answer them one by one. Some questions require serious responses while others are more playful.

The Russian commentator on the program introduces Kuznetsov as “the most popular young player in Russia, maybe even in the world.” He goes on to say that the 18-year old is so fondly recieved in his home country because of his openness with the press and his witty retorts. Let’s file this video as circumstantial evidence.

After the jump, we have included a full transcript of the interview including context to some of the questions and defintions of a few of the Russian words. For example, we don’t expect any of you to know what “ZAGS” is. Enjoy!

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