Friday, March 26, 2010

ReCAP (3/25/10)

The Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes met up for the sixth and final time this season tonight.

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My three stars for the night:
*- Michael Leighton, Carolina
**- Semyon Varlamov, Washington
***- John Carlson & Alex Semin, Washington

Tonight's game was an exciting matchup between divisional rivals that ended in a disappointing way for the Capitals. While the Caps did break the franchise record for points in a season, it is sad that it couldn't have come with a win, instead of a fifth round shootout loss.

The 'Canes came out strong in the first period, with two goals by rookie defensemen. Varly was decent in the first, but was lights-out for the rest of the game until the shootout. Sadly, Varly did not get the win tonight, though he deserved it. However, the Caps were playing without Brooks Laich, Jeff Schultz, or Shaone Morrison , so it wasn't exactly a full-force game for the Caps. Varly's counterpart, Leighton, was excellent for the entire game for Carolina.

Some thoughts....
- Alexander Ovechkin has only scored two goals since the Caps-Pens game during the Snowpocalypse on Superbowl Sunday, where he had a hat trick; Steven Stamkos is now tied with him and Crosby for the NHL goal scoring lead.
- The other Alex, Alexander Semin, has been pretty hot the last few games; just in time for the playoffs!
- Varlamov has consistently been getting better; while I think he's already surrendered the starting goalie spot to Jose Theodore, he certainly will be ready, I think, to play should Theo falter in the playoffs; or if Theo needs some rest.
- I'm glad that John Carlson managed to get a shot in net; following numerous games with shots of the crossbar, one that, during practice, injured Brooks Laich's face.
- Brooksie is still recovering.
- By the way, tonight's game was the first game where three rookie defensemen scored since 1947!
- The Capitals are now 1 win away from clinching the eastern conference, if my math is correct.

The Caps now have a nice break before facing the slumping Ottawa Senators Sunday at Verizon Center, as they continue the push into the playoffs.

Around the Rink (3/25/10) will come in the morning.

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