Mojo scores on the wraparound! (Photo credit: Ann Heisenfelt)
The Washington Capitals hosted the Ottawa Senators in Chinatown for a game that– INEXPLICABLY — ended after sixty minutes. After three games that went to overtime and beyond, this slow Saturday night snoozefest was welcome.
On the power play, Alex Semin sucked in a few defenders before feeding Nick Backstrom, who scored from the weak side. Marcus Johansson’s wraparound goal was a thing of beauty. Peter Regin exploited the top line’s laziness to make it 2-1. Then about forty minutes passed without anything important happening. Caps beat Sens 2-1 (NOT OT).
- We’re not gonna write about Arron Asham or Jay Beagle at all tonight. Promise.
- Nick Backstrom‘s powerplay goal marks his first tally at Verizon Center since March 22, when men were still men and women knew their place.
- DJ King played his first game in a Caps sweater this season. Recording almost 7 minutes of ice time, 2 hits, and a shot on goal, King probably met expectations. Well, what exactly were you expecting? No Zenon Konopka fight, which means we couldn’t use this reference in the recap.
- The Senators are not an explosive offense, and they’ve struggled this season. That said– they put 34 shots against our net tonight compared to the Caps’ 26.
- In his first back-to-back performance with the Caps, Tomas Vokoun blocked 33 of 34 shots and looked solid throughout. You don’t get the same kind of thrills from Vokoun’s hybrid style that you did from Semyon Varlamov’s more frenetic approach, but it’s novel and welcome to have reliability between those posts. Vokoun looked good, but Joe Beninati looked great.
- 2 points for #22, Mike Knuble.
- I saw this on NHL.com and wanted to share: this day in history Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe’s points record. He’d get another thousand before retiring. Not sure what year this happened in, but it was probably sometime during Full House’s TV run judging by the fan fashion. Non-Caps news, but
- Sergei Gonchar, who used to be a beloved Capitals player before defecting to Pittsburgh, left the game early after taking a slapper to the foot. He did not return.
- Early in the third period, Alex Ovechkin had a 1-on-1 in the offensive zone. But it’s not 2007 anymore, so nothing cool happened. That said, Alex Ovechkin was on for seven scoring chances tonight — more than his first three games combined.
- NHL.com recorded hits as 31-24 Caps. No comment, we just wanna have a sip of whatever that guy is drinking.
Let’s face it: this game was over after eight minutes, when Johansson’s wraparound made it 2-0. The Caps more or less checked out soon after, and then we fans had to sit through two periods of clock-burning. The Caps still have not delivered a 60-minute effort this season, and we didn’t get the fireworks or the hard work that we demanded, but a W is a W is a W. And the Caps have four of them in four games, only the third time in franchise history that’s happened.
Have a great Saturday night, everyone!
Additional reporting by Neil Greenberg.