It wasn’t a beatdown that fans (and players) were probably looking for, but the Caps did defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in a shootout Tuesday night. Here are some quick notes from the aftermath:
* While the Caps are getting healthy, I didn’t see Chris Clark back on the ice after Alex Ovechkin torpedoed him when he was looking for a big hit on Jeff Carter. Not really sure what that hit would have accomplished if he had been on target, and it was obviously a little too close in proximity to his own teammate. Clark might have not played because Boudreau shortened his bench, but maybe not. It will be worth monitoring tomorrow morning.
* The Caps are now 18-1-1 at home, and are now six points in front of the Rangers and Flyers for second place in the Eastern Conference. They are also within five points of the Boston Bruins for the top spot.
* Jose Theodore is now 11-3 in shootouts in his career. There were 19 players in the NHL with at least 40 points coming into the night and he faced three of them in the one-on-one format. And he stopped them all.
* Viktor Kozlov had a nice night controlling the puck, and his work on Mike Knuble along the boards got the puck to Alexander Semin to setup the Caps’ lone goal.
* Boudreau said he switched up the lines a bit in the third period (the Alexes played with Nicklas Backstrom) because he wanted to get some more minutes for Semin.
* Since the breakaway goal early in the second period at Madison Square Garden, Theodore has now stopped 147 of the past 154 shots he’s faced. I don’t even need to calculate that save percentage to know it is exceptional.
“He looks way more sure of himself,” Boudreau said. “I thought the anticipation was great, the rebound control was really good – all the things that he is noted for when he is on top of his game are there.”
* Semin had a primary assist on the only goal for his team, but he definitely looked out of sync at times. It wasn’t a great night for him or his original linemate, Michael Nylander.
* The zamboni had to come for a second time because the Flyers felt their offensive end wasn’t done as wide as the Caps.
* When asked about his two injured forwards, Tomas Fleischmann and Sergei Fedorov, Boudreau said, “They are ready to play, now let’s see if they can crack the lineup.”
* The Caps are now 8-1-2 against the Atlantic Division, which could boast four playoff teams at season’s end.
* Nine straight wins at home – that is the second-longest streak in team history.
* Kozlov is 17-for-35 in his career in the shootout. The same cannot be said about Ovechkin, but he did bang one of the post tonight. He also led the team with four takeaways, interestingly.