The Washington Capitals continued their winning ways at Verizon Center with a 3-1 victory against the Rangers. Considering the Canucks were road weary and did not play very well against the Caps, this was probably their best effort of the season. The Caps are now 5-0-1 at the Phone Booth this season, and 11-0-1 dating back to last year.
Some other notes:
*Brent Johnson continues to shine. He has stopped 145 of 154 shots this season (that’s a .942 save percentage) if you throw out the season opener in Atlanta when he relieved Jose Theodore. Bruce Boudreau hinted at Johnson playing Monday against Olie Kolzig and the Capitals South, er, Lightning after the game.
“Today he was [our No. 1 goalie],” Boudreau said of Johnson. “He might be Monday again, but Wednesday we might have a different No. 1. I’m not into these goalie controversies. If you’re playing good, you’re playing good. Last year at the trading deadline, there was all this about a goalie controversy — Olie [Kolzig] and [Cristobal Huet] played the next 12 games even until one sort of took over. We’ve still got 69 games left. Maybe [Jose] Theodore will get hot for 20 games. I think it was the last 40 games last year he was on fire, and hopfeully it is the last 50 this year, but right now Brent is really playing well.”
*Just a secondary assist on the quirky power-play goal for Nicklas Backstrom, but he was probably the team’s best offensive player tonight. He was buzzing around and skating through people. The past couple of games have been a big improvement for him.
*Boyd Gordon created a goal by driving through Dmitri Kalinin with the puck and crashing the net, was a plus-2 and won 8 of 10 faceoffs.
*Alex Ovechkin didn’t score, but was again running over people on every other shift. He crushed Marc Staal and Paul Mara, and also had a good hit on Scott Gomez. And the Rangers retaliated by … well, we’re still waiting for it. People can rip Sean Avery (and rightfully so), but he probably would have had a response.