The Washington Times - October 9, 2011, 02:53PM

For select games of the 2011-12 Washington Capitals season, The Washington Times will do a “Film Study,” looking at key plays and how they happened. Here’s a look at each goal Saturday in the Caps’ 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

12:16 of second period


There are 35 seconds left of an Alex Ovechkin penalty for the Caps to kill off, and Bruce Boudreau sends Joel Ward, Jason Chimera, Roman Hamrlik and Mike Green out there for a neutral-zone faceoff. Ward, not a center, loses the draw.

The Caps are in position as Eric Staal carries into zone. Green, the right defenseman, commits to Staal, as Ward is trailing the play. Chimera and Green both converge on Staal, as he dishes the puck to defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

“I jumped across the middle there with Staal and went a little too far. I’ll take the blame for that,” Green said. “They made the cross-ice pass to my side to their stretch guy and they made a great play. But initially I should’ve stayed more on the right-hand side. It’s just my bad.”

Meanwhile, Jussi Jokinen is all along the opposite side, all alone – neither Ward nor Roman Hamrlik moves over to him quickly. Jokinen gets plenty of open ice with Hamrlik slow to get back, and Green lets Staal get to the faceoff circle with several feet to spare.

Coach Bruce Boudreau admitted it was Green’s mistake, adding “there was more than one [error] on that particular play.”

Staal has only Green to beat with three-quarters of an empty net. Michal Neuvirth had to be prepared for a Jokinen shot, and he had no chance. Hurricanes take a 1-0 lead.

Here’s the video:

14:28 of second period

This is where Alexander Semin caring (and being a really smart offensive player) comes into play. Carolina has the puck in the Caps’ end and Kaberle for some reason is at the goal line with the three forwards. Big mistake.

Semin knows he has ice in front of him, so when John Carlson corrals the puck, the Russian wing starts sprinting up ice. The other defenseman, Justin Faulk, is lightyears away as Carlson sees Semin and hits him with a perfect outlet pass that gets to him just past center ice.

The rest is Semin just abusing Brian Boucher. It’s like a shootout with the goaltender having no preparation time: Semin has enough room to settle the puck on his stick and lift a pretty backhand between Boucher’s body and right arm. Caps tie it up 1-1.

Here’s the video:

19:39 of second period

The Caps’ third line of Ward, Brooks Laich and Chimera could be really good this season. Here’s one example why.

Ward called this a “simple play.” The right wing gets control of the puck along the right boards and sees the speedy Chimera ahead of him in the neutral zone. Simply advancing it up the ice, he chips it to Chimera, knowing that’s forward Tuomo Ruutu back in defensive position.

One of the reasons the Caps extended Chimera was because of his impressive speed. Here, he turns on the wheels and blows by Ruutu and into open ice. In all alone on Boucher, Chimera lifts a soft forehand on net, but the Hurricanes goalie lets up a bit of a softie. Caps take 2-1 lead.

Here’s the video:

0:18 of third period

With Carlson in the box for a delay-of-game penalty late in the second, the Caps start the third on the penalty kill with Jeff Halpern (who loses faceoff), Laich, Karl Alzner and Hamrlik. When the Hurricanes dumped it in, Alzner loses a puck battle to Jeff Skinner along the right boards.

Skinner skates toward the net, but Hamrlik pokes the puck away. A failed clear by Alzner allows Carolina to set up, with Joni Pitkanen then finding Skinner breaking toward the slot.

“That one was more just an error on my part,” Alzner said. “We had two left-handed defensemen, so when you’re playing the right side it’s hard to get the puck out. I should’ve just froze it. I shouldn’t have even tried to get it out on my back-hand.”

The problem is, with the puck still in the zone Hamrlik is in Alzner’s corner, and Staal is again wide open. This time he only had about 40 percent of an open net, but it’s enough for an All-Star. Hurricanes tie it 2-2.

Here’s the video:

16:15 of third period

With Brandon Sutter off for tripping, the Caps got an extensive five-on-three. With 1:04 left in that, the right-handed-shooting Nicklas Backstrom skates out of the faceoff circle, instructing lefty Semin to win it on his forehand in the corner. When he did just that, the power play could set up.

Backstrom settles the puck all alone in the circle to Boucher’s left, with Ovechkin wide open at the point. Ovechkin gets a shot through but not on net. But with Green moving down low and taking some attention – and a hit by Bryan Allen – Laich is uncovered to tap in the rebound when it comes of the boards.

“It starts with a shot. Anytime you take shots – I know as a penalty-killer – it forces the penalty-killers to turn around,” Laich said. “It happened with their defensemen – Ovi takes the shot. Their D-man turns around to find the puck and I was able to spin behind him and find an open net.” Caps take 3-2 lead.

Here’s the video:

18:41 of third period

With 1:36 left and his team trailing by one, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice pulled Boucher for an extra attacker with an offensive zone faceoff. Halpern earns the draw, but Alzner is again caught on his off-side playing in the corner, and no one is marking Jokinen on the other end of the ice.

Staal manages to dig the puck out of the corner and to Skinner in the slot. And though he’s just a second-year player, Skinner sees Jokinen wide open. Neuvirth scrambles back, trying to cover some of the net, but it’s not enough. Hurricanes tie it 3-3.

Here’s the video:

End of regulation

This is not a goal, but Semin’s boarding minor on Allen at the end of the third period could have consequences beyond what was a two-minute four-on-three for Carolina. The clock already hit zeros across the board as Semin is lining up Allen, who is protecting the puck with his right hand on his stick.

Allen’s back is clearly turned when Semin shoves him from behind into the boards from a couple feet out. Staal takes exception and a melee ensues.

Is a hearing with Brendan Shanahan coming? We’ll see.


2:24 of overtime

With Semin’s penalty over and the Caps with a four-on-three advantage of their own, ice is plentiful. Backstrom carries into the zone as Tim Brent follows him too far into the corner.

The puck gets to Dennis Wideman and then Green at the points, as the two similarly minded offensive defensemen switch sides on a delayed give-and-go. With the Hurricanes in a triangle penalty kill, Green has room to set himself and fire a slap shot at point-blank range. It bounces in off Allen’s leg, Boucher said. Caps win 4-3.

Here’s the video: