Neuvy in Net: Caps beat Panthers 3-2 (SO)

backy boered Greg Fiume

The most excitable man in hockey. (Photo: Greg Fiume)

The horse show or whatever is gone from Verizon Center, and the Caps are finally back. Good thing too. Friday night’s curbstomp in Philly got really ugly at the end there, and the handsome faces of DC made things all better.

Nick Backstrom scored the game’s first goal in a low-shooting first period, which is pretty much exactly how last game started. Florida’s Jesse Winchester scored on a breakaway in the second, but John Carlson answered back 36 seconds later thanks a lovely saucer pass from Michael Latta. Tomas Fleischmann tied it on a 4v3 with under 3 minutes left because ugh. Into OT we came, and into the shootout we went.

Shootout bullets!

  • Grabo with the greatest move of all time
  • Barkov did the same thing
  • Laich like salmon in the back of the net

Caps beat Panthers 3-2 in the shootout!

  • The Capitals were in no apparent hurry in the first period. They put only 5 shots on net– one more than they mustered in Friday’s first frame. But just like Friday, they scored a goal. And just like Friday, it was from Nick Backstrom. Nicky has 3 goals in 2 games without Alex Ovechkin. There’s a hypothesis that shooting on a line is a zero-sum thing: every shot Ovi takes is one Nicky does not, so without Ovi Nicky must shoot more. I don’t think that’s entirely true. Backstrom isn’t scoring on volume; he’s just finding the net.
  • On September 12th I wrote about how I wanted the Caps to line up. I had Eric Fehr in the top six. Since Ovi’s been out, Fehr has been with Erat and Backstrom. He’s got three points so far. I like him in the top six much more than the bottom six. You?
  • Dmitry Chesnokov reports that Alex Ovechkin is expected to play again on November 5th against the Islanders. Remember, remember the 5th of November.
  • Michael Latta‘s fight in the first period did nothing for me– especially in the wake of the ugly scene in Philadelphia. His perfect saucer pass to John Carlson, on the other hand, I loved completely.
  • This was my favorite RMNB tweet of the year. You suck for not RTing it.

  • The Capitals have killed 35 straight penalty kills, dating all the way back to the Ford administration. Due credit to the Calle Johansson for adeptness while a man-down, even if even-strength remains a problem. The Caps are certainly taking too many penalties however, and I think that’s both contributing to and the result of the Caps’ lack of O-zone time.
  • I was pretty surprised Michal Neuvirth got the start after Braden Holtby’s 30-save shutout on Friday. Neuvy did very well tonight. Perhaps unwisely, I still believe he’s better than his .909 career save percentage. More starts will let me know if I”m truly wrong.
  • The NHL seems to have a bunch of garbage moments lately. Krys Barch was out for what Mike Vogel called a clownshift in the third. That whole thing ended in Marcus Johansson catching a stick in the face. No one seemed to notice MJ90 clutching his face in pain as Barch was stealing billy goats and retreating back to under his bridge. Mojo looked alright, and played the rest of the game.
  • Shots via ExtraSkater, yall


  • Shawn Matthias blocked a Mike Green puck in the 3rd period, though perhaps not using team-approved tactics. The puck glanced off his facial region, and the glance part of that is important, as we’d probably be dealing with another one of those orbital things otherwise.
  • Despite having Grabo “lugging the mail”, Jason Chimera‘s goal streak finally cracked.
  • Heyyyy good to see ya, Tomas Fleischmann. Way to ruin my Saturday night.
Joe B suit of the night: business-like

Joe B suit of the night: business-like

The Capitals are back to .500! I’d personally like to extend a thank you to the billion bad hockey teams the Capitals have played so far. Philadelphia, Calgary, Edmonton, Florida– you guys rule. Watch your mailboxes for the RMNB Christmas card.

Okay, whatever. It’s Saturday night. You’re probably not even reading this. No one seemed to notice my primo twitter game tonight. I feel unloved. The only thing that loves me is hockey.

Thinking back on it, I’m really disappointed in the lack of a Caps-Panthers rivalry. After a trillion years playing in the Southeast, there’s no bad blood there– especially compared to Philly and Pittsburgh. Maybe it’s because the Panthers don’t have, ya know, fans. Wasted opportunity.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back. See you guys next week.

  • dylan wheatley

    Backstrom is Wayne Gretzky

  • OlietheGoalie

    Your typing skills are insane. Now commenters, you know what time it is: LOOK FOR THE GRAMMAR AND SPELLING MISTAKES SINCE HE POSTED THIS 3 SECONDS AFTER THE SHOOTOUT WAS OVER.


  • OlietheGoalie

    Erm, lately, yes. Nick has about 2 points a game. Let’s see if he can do that for his entire career though like #99 (1480 games, 2800+ points).

  • Akay15

    Honestly, I don’t get all this hate the Caps got before the season started. Everyone was saying how we were doomed in the Metropolitan division… I’m a new hockey fan, is there something I’m not getting? Compared to last season, when it took us a few weeks to finally win a game, I think we’re doing pretty damn well.

  • JenniferH

    Peter, you know that RMNB and your recaps are always the first place I go after a game! You are loved, man, you are loved! Neuvy did good tonight, very good, but yeah I was surprised that Holtby wasn’t in net after what happened last night, but maybe giving him a night off was a good thing… after what happened last night. I really hope that when Ovi returns the rest of the boys continue to step it up as beautifully as they have these last couple of games. Them cracking like this alongside the awesome of Ovi would be fabulous to watch.

  • William

    Backstrom playing really well of late. Oates had him out for almost the whole OT period. Playing with confidence and skill. Nice to see him look like an elite nhler again. Carlson is another guy who has picked it up of late.

    Small negative-What is with Mike Green? Looks terrible playing Defense.

    Good game from neuvy.

    Panthers: First and foremost, Huberdeau and Barkov are both absolutely nasty, they are going to be fun to watch in the future. Overall this game could have gone their way if they capitalized on the PP more than once. They had quite a few shots and got stone by michal more than once.

    I would say the difference in this game was the goaltending. Clemmensen is a very mediocre goaltender.

  • Bob

    Big 2 points to get back to .500 hockey. Favorite part of the game was seeing Wilson chirping the other teams bench. i would pay top dollar to get a seat close enough to hear him. Last thought, what would we do without St. Nick?

  • Golly Girl

    Was that an Alzy Celly I saw? Looked like I saw a Thor’s Hammer thing going on there.

  • Matt

    If they beat the iles on Tuesday they would be second in the so called “big boy” division.

  • Matt

    I love the way Nicky has stepped up with ovi gone. A lot of people, even us at times, really undervalue him.

  • Matt

    Must be doing a different Avenger every shootout. Can’t wait for the Hulk one.

  • Matt Root

    Nicky shooting even when Ovi returns will do wonders.

  • Freedoooom
  • Fedor

    Too bad we didn’t get to see Barch in the shootout. He was supposed to be the last shooter according to the list submitted by the Panthers’ coaching staff.

  • Brian Dexter Lee Jr.

    Lub you Peter

  • VeggieTart

    What Backie needs to do when Ovi gets back is keep shooting the puck! And Oates needs to tell the guys that they stepped up brilliantly while Ovi was gone and they should continue stepping up when he’s back.

  • Dark Stranger

    I figured prior to the season that most of the teams in the Metropolitan Division, except for the Pens, did not really look all that impressive. The Caps had slightly more points than the Rangers for last year’s regular season. Figured there was a chance the Islanders or Columbus (while much improved over their perennially horrible selves) would regress from last year. Devils didn’t look good and lost key players . Flyers were bad last year as well as Carolina

  • Catherine__M

    Ohhh I bet that’s it. And if it’s not the plan, some Twitter literate person should contact him and MAKE it the plan.

  • Matthew Kory

    Weren’t the Panthers on a power play when they tied it up in the third period?

  • Owen Johnson

    Some times it losing your best player for a couple games can be the best thing for a team. They learn how to step up and not rely on him. It’s looking like this is that.

  • Michael Reschly

    Yes they were. They *had* killed 35 straight PP’s.

  • Josh Willison

    No mention of Olesky embarrassing Barch??? Barch went in for a check, Olesky ducked, flipping Barch, sending the cat sliding away from the puck on his back. Puck cleared the Caps zone, Olesky’s shift was over and he went to the bench, where Barch attempted to instigate a fight but the lineman broke it up. Barch stayed on ice, and gathered speed on the open ice has he caught up to the play. This is where his charging penalty took place.

    But enough of all that- GIFs of Olesky’s ninja-like moves to avoid the hit!!!!

  • VeggieTart

    Now they need to do that when Ovi is back. And I hope Oates tells them that.

  • Rhino40

    the Gunpowder Treason and plot…good Guy Fawkes reference, Peter.

  • Rhino40

    Yes that is full of epic win…so now someone needs to ‘shop it and insert the hammer, similar to what was done with a whisk and mixing bowl on a #perrycelly

  • Pat Magee

    I’d say Holtby deserved a night off after that, lol