Caps drop shootout at MSG

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The Washington Capitals “lost” a point to the New York Rangers in a shootout tonight. Still, given the way the game went, it felt like they earned the point they got. Here’s a few notes/tidbits from another pretty wild night on Broadway:

* There’s not much left to say about Mike Green. He now has goals in seven straight games — something only ONE other defenseman has done in the history of the league. Green has nine goals and 16 points during this span, and his league-leading totals for a rearguard are now at 21 goals and 49 points.

If he hadn’t missed 13 games, Green could be en route to the greatest season of offense by a defenseman in the league’s history considering the era that he plays in.

“It is pretty special,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s a pretty special guy.”

* As great as Green was, the penalty killers as a unit saved this one for the Caps. Washington had to kill off four straight penalties in the third period — not to mention one near the end of the second — and one of those was a four-minute minor on Shaone Morrisonn for high-sticking Markus Naslund.

Not only did the Rangers not score, they barely threatened. The Rags, who were hearing it from the crowd as the power-play stuggled, had only nine shots in the final period despite spending 10 minutes with the man advantage and 36 seconds with a 5-on-3.

* The deciding goal in the shootout was a quirky one. Ryan Callahan’s shot rang off the left post, but then hit Jose Theodore’s stick and found its way into the net. Theodore protested, and Boudreau said he wasn’t sure about the rule, but the goal was allowed.

* The Rangers did a relatively good job of shackling Alex Ovechkin, and he took his frustrations out on them. Ovechkin set up Green’s first goal and had five shots on net. He also had a whopping 13 hits, and several were of the crunching variety.

He also took a penalty from the frustration. Paul Mara, who was shadowing him a lot, goaded Ovechkin into cross-checking him near the benches when the puck was 100 feet away.

* Here is Ryan Callahan’s line: 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 game-winning shootout goal, 6 shots, 5 hits, 21:45 of ice time — that’s a nice day’s work.

* Speaking of a nice day’s work, Jay Beagle had a very nice NHL debut. He had three shots on net and two hits in 7:41 of ice time. His line (along with Donald Brashear and Matt Bradley) spent a lot of time on offense, and Beagle held his own scrapping for pucks along the boards.

His “Welcome to the NHL” moment probably came about three minutes in. By that point, both of his linemates had found their way to the penalty box for fighting. Brashear and Colton Orr went at it and Bradley dropped the gloves with Aaron Voros at the next puck drop.

“I thought I might need to fight at that point just so the whole line could be in there,” Beagle said. “It was pretty funny.”

* Boudreau said he doesn’t have a problem with Morrisonn’s play of late (though Nigel Dawes did beat him soundly in a 1-on-1 situation to set up a goal for the Rangers), but that is two games in a row that Morrisonn has nearly cost the team with huge penalties. He also had the major infraction and ejection for checking from behind against Florida on Saturday.

“His play is fine, but you just can’t do that,” Boudreau said. “It is not smart.”

* Finally, it also seems lost in everything that happened, but the “3 Fs” line connected for Washington’s first two goals. Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr both scored and assisted on each other’s tally — that’s four goals and seven points in seven games for Fehr. It looks like he might belong after all.

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