WSH Game 4: Caps improve to 4-0, beat Senators IN REGULATION 2-1

It wasn’t even really as close as it sounds. A pretty bland game, with all the action happening in the 1st period.

Recap: Nick Backstrom scored on the Power Play to kick things off on a nice pass from Alex Semin. Backstrom netted it from just beyond the right goalpost. Then my man Marcus Johansson made it 2-0 when he carried the puck down the left-hand boards and went 5-hole on Alex Auld on a wraparound– a goal which, really, if it had not been Alex Auld would not have been a goal. Then Peter Regin cut the Caps’ lead in half on a crazy shot from almost 180 degrees to the net (goalpost was on his right). Craig Laughlin said it best: “If he was right handed, that’s not a goal.” But would he have even been in that situation if he was right-handed? Where would his career be if he was a righty? Food for thought.

Plus: Caps finally won in regulation. That’s a good thing…The Caps only took 1 penalty, and killed it off. Alex Semin managed to contain his urge to hook someone…Vokoun stopped 33 of 34…Ovechkin had 7 shots on goal…Mike Knuble had 2 assists…Roman Hamrlik has now played the most games of any Czech-born and -trained player (important to note the “trained”, because Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita was Czech but grew up in Canada)…

Minus: The Caps only managed 2 goals on Alex Auld…According to Japers’ Rink, Ovechkin was absent from the Caps’ top PP unit, and when he came back, he wasn’t on point. THAT makes sense…Erik Karlsson, the Sens’ promising young Swedish blueliner, was outplayed by his Carlson counterpart, John…

Injuries: Ottawa D Sergei Gonchar left in the 1st after blocking a shot and didn’t come back. Word from the Senators is that he has a bruised foot…

3 Stars: 1. Auld (gotta do it) 2. Vokoun 3. Knuble

Nightly Nugget: Not Caps related, but very significant: On this day in history, Wayne Gretzky scored his 1,851st NHL point. This surpassed Gordie Howe for most points in the NHL all-time, a record that still stands and is not likely to be broken soon, if ever.

Next up: The Caps welcome the Florida Panthers and Jose Theodore to the Verizon Center on Tuesday. As someone who finds Theodore more entertaining than probably anything on TV that night, you know I’ll be watching.

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