Post-game thoughts

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Bruce Boudreau said tonight’s game felt like a playoff-type game in a playoff-type atmosphere. He also made similar statements when the Caps played Philadelphia and New York earlier this month. Want another common theme from those three games — they have all ended up as 2-1 victories for Washington.

Here are some other tidbits from this one:

* The Caps are now 13-3-2 against the other teams that began today in the top eight of the Eastern Conference. For the Southeast supposedly being a weaker division, the Caps have lost as many games in regulation to the Southeast (3) as the Northeast and Atlantic combined. They’ve also lost three times to the Northwest and Pacific divisions, for what it is worth.

* Washington is now 2-0 against Boston this season, having won both games here at the Phone Booth. The Bruins will have their chance to hold serve twice after the all-star break, starting with the very first game of the second half 10 days from now.

“It means a lot,” Brashear said of the two wins against Boston. “Every time we play a top team and beat them it shows what we’re capable of. In the meantime there is a long way to go and many more teams to beat.”

* The Caps got one of the best performances of the season from both John Erskine and Michael Nylander. Erskine, taking a penalty in the final two minutes aside, was a physical presence with several big hits and generally was strong in his own end while playing nearly 20 minutes.

Nylander made a perfect pass to Mike Green for the Caps’ first goal, but his night wasn’t defined by just that one play. He looked more involved in the offensive end than he has in several games.

* Zdeno Chara is awesome.

* Bruce Boudreau was asked a couple of questions with a playoff slant to them. A lot of people probably saw this game as a potential preview of the Eastern Conference finals.

“I hope we get to that point — I hope we get to May,” Boudreau said. “It’s been a while, right now we just want to go as far as we can in the regular season. … But it is too early to be talking about the playoffs.”

* Mike Green now has 12 goals — that’s more than every other Eastern Conference defenseman and every one in the west not names Shea Weber.

* The Caps passed the 60-point barrier with the win in game No. 46 — only the 1985-86 team reached 60 sooner, and that was in game No. 45.

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