The Blue Jackets didn’t exactly bring their A-team to the District – no Steve Mason, no Jeff Carter, no Rick Nash. Instead there was Curtis Sanford and ex-Hershey Bears Alexandre Giroux and Andrew Joudrey.
Still, several Capitals players were impressive in the 3-1 victory at Verizon Center that featured two power-play goals.
The line of Chris Bourque, Mathieu Perreault and Cody Eakin shined above everyone else, scoring two goals and providing just the kind of pluck and energy you’d expect from three guys clawing to make the roster.
“I think it was a good game, a good showcase for all three of us,” Bourque said. “It was the kind of game that we need to be playing – energizing the team and buzzing around in their zone and creating scoring chances for ourselves and capitalizing on them like we did.”
Said Bruce Boudreau: “They all played really good. They all competed, they did their job, they played defensively pretty well. It was a good game for all three of them.”
The first goal was a result of hard work along the boards by Perreault, a beautiful shovel pass to the slot from behind the net by Bourque and a perfect wrister by Eakin. The second Perreault scored (on the power play) thanks to Roman Hamrlik, who used his eons of time with open ice to find the 23-year-old on the right side of the crease. He didn’t miss, and had a nice Wayne Gretzky-esque celebration for good measure.
Defenseman Dmitry Orlov at times looked like a 20-year-old still needing to refine his defensive game, but he flashed some nice speed and offensive prowess. Just like Dennis Wideman did on his goal from the point, Orlov showed he could get his wrister through from the blue line without many problems.
Michal Neuvirth was rock-solid. He didn’t have any highlight-reel saves, but that’s not his M.O. He was in position and locked in until Vinny Prospal scored on the Blue Jackets’ 22nd shot of the night.
“This is not a surprise with Michal Neuvirth playing good,” Boudreau said.