The Washington Times - December 10, 2008, 11:04PM

Some thoughts and notes after the Caps’ 3-1 win against the conference-leading Bruins:

*Brent Johnson said his hip is sore, and he will get the day off tomorrow. It has been a nagging thing for a lot of the season, and having Chuck Kobasew plow into him while he was stretching to make a save in the butterfly didn’t help.


“I think the only that is going to heal it is a little time off and obviously we’re not going to have that. I’ve just got to make sure I don’t overdo it and have to be out for a long time.”

Bruce Boudreau actually said Stretch (Brett Leonhardt of Caps Report fame) will be in net at practice tomorrow in place of Johnson during his post-game press conference.

*Russian journalist Slava Malamud spoke to Alexander Semin after the game. He said Semin told him that’s he not 100 percent and tenative to shoot, but he did not have a setback in the game and just needs a couple of games to get back in a groove.

Semin also told Malamud that he was pretty tired after playing 17 minutes (17:45 to be exact), and he was really glad he skated so much while he was out or he would have really been in trouble.

*It is fair to say Johnson could be in the middle of another run as the team’s go-to netminder at this point. He’s won three straight games, and he’s now 8-4-2 with a 2.47 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

This would be his second tenure as the team’s unofficial No. 1 guy.

“Theo will get his chance to get in there again. I don’t have a controversy by any stretch,” Boudreau said. “You want to ride the hot hand, and Johnnie is the hot hand right now.”

*Alexandre Giroux has 216 career AHL goals, including a league-best 18 this season. He now has three NHL goals, and he picked up his first in nearly 21 months (March 16, 2007) in the second period.

Giroux could have had a second one when he earned a penalty shot, but Boudreau said the puck rolled on him when he made his move against Manny Fernandez.

*Oskar Osala logged 11:15 in his NHL debut. He had three shot attempts, and put one on net.

“I thought he looked nervous at the beginning, but he had a couple good shifts in the second period,” Boudreau said. “He’s going to take some time to get going, but the potential is there.”

*Tom Poti returned after missing six games, and Boudreau didn’t ease him in. He skated a team high 22:01 and made a nifty pass that eventually led to Giroux’s game-winning tally.

“As good as the guys [from] Hershey have played, I thought, ‘Boy, what a difference maker,’ when he came out there and was settling the puck down — sometimes not even doing anything and letting everyone go by him — to make the good play. I thought he was really good.”

*Nicklas Backstrom was filthy good with the puck at times. His line with the Alexes was dominant at times, and shaky in their own end at times. Boudreau said Semin had a few turnovers in his own end, and Phil Kessel stepped in front of Ovechkin along the half-wall to pick up the puck and start a 2-on-1 that led to Milan Lucic’s goal.

*The Caps practice at 11 a.m. at K-Plex tomorrow, and the Senators will follow them at 1 p.m.