A pair of power-play goals by the Carolina Hurricanes has the Washington Capitals in a 2-0 hole through 20 minutes at Verizon Center. Bruce Boudreau said the preseason was a time for experimenting, and he wasn’t kidding. Alex Ovechkin was on the ice for both goals killing penalties, and Alexander Semin even took a shift on the PK.
The first one came on a rebound, and goalie Michal Neuvirth didn’t have much of a chance on the second one, which essentially turned into a mini 2-on-0 right in front of him. He stopped 13 of 15 shots, and like his young counterpart Simeon Varlamov needs to work on his rebound control.
Some other thoughts:
*Ovechkin and Mike Green were certainly ready for this one. They were both tossing themselves around during the first 20 minutes. Ovechkin’s first target was Tim Conboy, who tried to return the favor at the end of the favor and the two ended up with a glove full of face in a little dust-up. Kudos to Conboy for not backing down.
*Green hurled himself toward a Hurricanes skater near the benches and missed — hitting awkwardly off the boards instead. Look, it is great that both of those guys want to bang on people and you can’t tell them to slow down, but they can be smart about it. I don’t think the Caps want Green trying to make that hit from a weird angle during a regular season game, let alone the exhibition variety.
*Ovechkin’s first shot of the season knocked Michael Leighton’s mask off, and he was generally a menace to everyone in a white jersey in his path. He and Semin had some nifty passes back and forth, but they also got a little too cute a few times.
*Boyd Gordon nearly outworked two guys for a goal. He won a battle in the corner and got a shot off in tight, and his backhanded rebound squirted through Leighton’s legs, but just wide of the far post.
*Kyle Wilson and Francois Bouchard had a nice period working together to create a few scoring chances.
*Not breaking news, but Josh Godfrey can hammer it from the point, and he’s got an itchy trigger finger. A little better aim, and AHL goalies are not going to enjoy sharing the ice with him this season.