A pretty sloppy game all around, which made for some wide-open back and forth play. Fun times.
Recap: Amid controversy, Michal Neuvirth started the game and made at least 4 or 5 great saves that kept his team in it. Eric Staal had 2 power-play goals and assisted on Jussia Jokinen’s goal that came with 1:19 left when Carolina’s goalie was pulled for the extra attacker, as they were down 3-2. Semin, Chimera, and Laich (whose goal was very nice and came on PP) had the regulation goals for the Caps. Mike Green finished it in OT on the PP on a shot that went off a shin pad in front. It was the Caps’ only shot in OT. Brian Boucher, starting in place of Cam Ward, stopped 32 of 36 shots for a .889 SV%.
Plus: Neuvirth, although he allowed 3 goals, played very well to the tune of 28 saves on 31 shots. He had a number of nice saves, although Joni Pitkanen almost slipped one by him about a minute into OT…Staal had 2 PPGs and an assist…Jeff Skinner assisted on all 3 Canes goals…Nick Backstrom notched 2 assists…Roman Hamrlik lead the Caps in ice time-he leaves Montreal to play less, then plays more…
Minus: Alex Ovechkin was held to only 2 shots…The Caps’ PK allowed 2 goals on 4 power plays. That’s something that will have to improve this year, as it has been a huge problem in years past…Boudreau’s handling of the goalie situation, which you can read my opinions on here and here, was atrocious. Should not, by any means, have named Vokoun starter at all, let alone on July 11th…
3 Stars: 1. Eric Staal 2. Michal Neuvirth 3. Jeff Skinner
Nightly Nugget: Brooks Laich scored his first goal since March 15th, an 11-game scoreless streak.
Next Up: The Caps face the Lightning at home on Monday (the Puck Schmuck’s b-day), a game you can catch on Versus.