First, no further update on Eric Fehr. Bruce Boudreau said he didn’t want to know what the news was until he got on the plane tonight. He is day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and the Caps will need to recall another forward tomorrow if Fehr can’t play. The Caps have plenty of options to choose from.
It looked as though the Caps were running out of defensemen to bring up, but maybe not. That was a pretty impressive performance from the six defensemen the Caps put on the ice tonight. Here were some of the highlights:
* Karl Alzner had his first career goal, his first career multi-point game and logged 23:06 of ice time, 11 seconds shy of Alex Ovechkin for most on the team. Alzner’s dad Gunther, a life-long Leafs fan, flew in from British Columbia earlier in the day and was in the seats at the ACC for his son’s big night.
“My gift for him was for him to come out and watch me play,” Karl said. “His favorite team growing up was the Leafs, so that was his gift. It was just a little added something for me to score.”
* Milan Jurcina had the game-winning goal and like Alzner, was a plus-2 for the evening. Both guys have three points in the past two games.
* Bryan Helmer had himself a night in the defensive end. He was menace for the Leafs when they had the extra man, and he looked more like a guy with 600 career NHL games at times than a guy who now has 139.
* Sami Lepisto skated 20:37, second-most among the defensemen, and led the d-corps with three hits. He was still shaky at times, but again he was relatively solid.
* Sean Collins logged 13:42 in his NHL debut, and didn’t look out of place for the most part. He nearly factored in on the goal that was disallowed (he likely wouldn’t have gotten an assist because Jason Blake had touched the puck, but Collins got the play going with a point shot).
* Speaking of point shots, there have been a lot of them from the Caps blueliners in the past two games. It seems like more than at any point this season, the Caps have generated offense via the blueline blast. The young guys haven’t been shy about teeing it up, and even a guy like Milan Jurcina seems more intent on putting pucks to the net.
The result — Caps rearguards had three of the team’s four points tonight, which comes one game after the group collected five points in a 5-2 win against the Islanders.
“Secondary scoring – it is what you need,” Bruce Boudreau said. “I was very impressed with our rookie d-corps. … The positive thing about calling guys up is they really listen and take direction.”
Some other notes:
* Brent Johnson said his hip was “a little sore” after he stretched to stop a redirection by Matt Stajan in the third period. He stayed down for a couple of seconds after the play moved to the other end, and then Nik Antropov scored on him on the very next rush. Otherwise, Johnson was solid in getting his second straight win.
It will be interesting to see if Boudreau gives him a third straight start tomorrow night.
* Typically, Boudreau is pretty upset after losses and happy after wins but he probably doesn’t swing as far from center after the victories. Not tonight. Boudreau looked like a guy who just won an NHL game in his hometown for the first time, beating not only his favorite team gorwing up but also the one that drafted him.
“It was fun,” Boudreau said. “I’ve already had four of my buddies call me. It was a good win. Half of [my buddies] were cursing and half of them were saying, ‘Good luck.’ ”
No morning skate tomorow (a lucky bounce for me since I have to drive back to Buffalo in the morning and then fly into Raleigh).