*Brent Johnson said after the game it is a hip injury and it wasn’t the final flurry, but rather a one-timer during a Carolina power play a few minutes earlier that caused the problem. He also said he doesn’t think it is serious. Johnson was able to sit near the Caps‘ tunnel during the final two periods in full gear, and would have gone back in had their been an emergency. Bruce Boudreau said the Caps might call up a goalie (presumably Daren Machesney or Simeon Varlamov)tomorrow for practice if Johnson is going to be out.
“It felt pretty bad out there,” Johnson said. “It is tough to tell right now. It is sore, and when I was moving around out there it was a lot of pain. I’ll see how it feels tomorrow, but it is not looking like it is going to be a long time.”
*Jose Theodore was pretty sharp in relief. He made 13 saves in two periods, but there were a couple of big ones when the outcome was still in doubt. None were bigger than Eric Staal’s shot on a 2-on-0 in the second period. He was awarded the team hard hat for his efforts.
“When you make those first couple of saves, you get into a rhythm … Tonight I made a few saves and then after that I was building on that and my confidence came up,” Theodore said.
*The top line was close to unstoppable tonight. When Alex Ovechkin has three points and is the least productive guy on his line, it is probablt going to be a good night.
*Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green and Jeff Schultz were on the ice for all four even-strength goals, while Brooks Laich was on for the PPG instead of Schultz. The result is a 5-1 win where five guys are a +4 and 13 guys are even. That’s pretty unique.
*Semin’s numbers against the Hurricanes are impressive: 17 goals and 28 points in 21 games. He now leads the NHL in goals (13), points (27), and plus-minus (+17). Hard to not peg him as the MVP at this point.
*Backstrom scored his first regular-season goal since March 31, but he was already having a nice night before that. In fact, he’s been pretty good in most games recently. He now has 10 points in 15 games, which looks a lot better than it did at this time last night.
“Finally,” Backstrom said. “I’ve tried to not think about it. Maybe if I was a goal-scorer, I should have like 10 goals right now. I’ve missed a lot of chances. I’ve had pretty good chances every game and I play with good players. [NOTE: Imagine Ovechkin starting to whoop and make strange bird-like noises from across the room here] This guy who is screaming right now is a pretty good player.”
*Eric Staal had a rough night. He had three chances from point blank range during a 5-on-3, including one where he just pushed the puck into the side of the net from aboout five feet away.He is now scoreless in five straight games.
*Milan Jurcina also did not have the best of evenings. He took three penalties, including a puck-over-the-glass infraction that led to Carolina’s only goal. He also had a couple of shoddy outlet passes that were intercepted and led to rushes for the Hurricanes.
*The Caps are in first place in the Southeast, and have won four straight games against Carolina. Considering how last season ended, how the Caps stole one six days ago and then just drubbed them tonight, the Hurricanes have not had a good few months against the Caps.