Ovi celebrates an early powerplay goal. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)
The Washington Capitals entered the new year with three wins in their rear-view and a convalesced Mike Green. Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames stopped in D.C. at the worst time.
Alex Ovechkin scored on the first shot of the night, a power play rocket one just 71 seconds in. Troy Brouwer crashed the net for number two, but Curtis Glencross got one back by snatching a behind-the-goal pass from Iginla. Nick Backstrom set up Dennis Wideman for the Caps’ third goal. Caps beat Flames 3-1.
- The Capitals power play is a tremendous threat of late. They have converted 4 of their last 6 opportunities, including an admirable 2-for-3 tonight. The other 29 teams oughtta take heed.
- Centerpiece of that crackling PP unit is Alex Ovechkin, who has 9 points in the last 5 games. His last 4 have been multi-point games and he is riding a 7-game point streak. Ovi looks downright 2009-y right now, especially when he gets his shot total over 5 (just 3 tonight.)
- No slouch either is Nick Backstrom, with has 8 points in the last 5 games. He recorded assists on all 3 goals tonight and is quickly climbing the NHL point leader standings (42).
- Rene Bourque, the dick, hit Backstrom in the head and is totes gonna be suspended. [UPDATE: According to WP's Katie Carrera, Nicky is being evaluated by doctors tonight.]
- Sorry to bury the lede! Mike Green returned to action, clocking 15:43, committing a holding penalty and late-game interference penalty…
- But who cares!? Here’s all you should care about: The Caps with Mike Green are 9-0.
- Maybe Mike Knuble earned a promotion for being a good role player or maybe that’s just what happens when Alex Semin takes his regularly scheduled break from hockey. Knuble served on the second line, where he clocked 18:16. For contrast, he hadn’t peaked over 15 minutes since December 1st against Pittsburgh. His story tonight included 1 shot, a plus-1 rating, a forgivable slashing call during a breakaway, and a less understandable delay of game in the final minute. Kanoobs can do better.
- The Caps penalty kill was perfect again tonight on 4 shorthanded sessions. They have surrendered only 3 goals against in the last 10 games (23 opportunities).
- When he’s not bad, Tomas Vokoun is extremely good. Right now, he’s not bad. That’s all the goalie wisdom you’re gonna get out of me tonight.
- Sorry, Jarome Iginla. Goal number 500 will have to wait a little bit longer.
It wasn’t a dominating win– quite the opposite really, but it was more than enough to sate this horde of fans. We’ve been craving this consistency in winning since… well, since Mike Green got hurt in October. Hey, did we mention he hasn’t played in a Caps loss so far this season?
Not bad. Now everybody flip on NHL Network and let’s watch Kuznetsov do his thing.
Crash the net.
Photo by Peter Robbio of Chirps from the Ledge