- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Capitals win consecutive games for 1st time in over a month
Cruise past Leafs for 4-2 win
Question of the Day
TORONTO — It was over in 32 seconds.
In 32 seconds, the Washington Capitals erased some long-standing questions.
“We knew we weren’t playing good hockey, and we proved that tonight that we can win hockey games on the road, too,” winning goaltender Michal Neuvirth said.
It was as simple as that in a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, as a fast start silenced Air Canada Centre and gave Washington consecutive wins for the first time in over a month.
“It’s a big win,” said forward Keith Aucoin, who scored his first NHL goal since 2009 on Saturday. “We’ve had a tough stretch and to win two games back-to-back like that, we haven’t done that in a little while, so it was good, especially a hard road game tonight.”
There has been so much talk about scoring first that it started to sound like a broken record. Coach Dale Hunter kept pointing out how favorable the stats were when getting on the board first, and he was right. It just hadn’t happened on the road in five straight games.
Enter Marcus Johansson and his nifty wraparound goal past resident Toronto sieve goaltender James Reimer, who made 26 saves, before most fans even settled into their seats.
“It’s very, very good feeling for the whole team to get a lead right away. It’s much more comfortable to play with the lead than try to chase back,” Johansson said. “It’s a good feeling to get it right away and I think after that we just kept going and we never really stopped.”
By the time the game was four minutes old, Alexander Semin made Luke Schenn another Maple Leafs goat by scoring off the defenseman’s brutal turnover.
It was coast mode after that, as the free-falling Maple Leafs lost for the eighth time in nine games and the Capitals moved that much closer to first place in the Southeast Division. A shootout victory by the Florida Panthers against the Carolina Hurricanes is all that kept Washington from moving into a playoff spot.
“I still think if we put our heads down and win our games, you’re going to come out on top,” said Jeff Halpern, who scored for the first time in 33 games. “You hate to have to be in a position to start scoreboard watching. And obviously we would’ve liked it if Carolina would’ve held on and won that game, but we’re happy we were able to win.”
The Capitals know the race is tight and points are valuable at this time of the year, which is what made a recent slide so inexplicable and this weekend almost equally so. These were the kinds of games most expected from a preseason Stanley Cup favorite.
Saturday night specifically was an exercise in exorcising road demons by beating up on a team when it’s down. Washington went into “Hunter trapping hockey” but kept putting the puck past Reimer.
It was all rolling for the Capitals, who picked up just their third road win in eight chances during a month of February that included a lot of hotel and suitcase living. Washington enters Monday’s trade deadline on a high note and that could mean general manager George McPhee shifts into big-time buyer mode.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- New York Times reporter Carol Vogel accused of plagiarism
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- ISIL destroys key bridge leading to Baghdad; suicide truck bomb severed supply line
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world