The Washington Times - September 24, 2008, 07:55PM

This won’t be a normal thing once the season starts, but we’ll have a few thoughts after each period during the preseason. After 20 minutes in Raleigh, the Caps lead Carolina 2-0 on goals by Tomas Fleischmann and Matt Bradley.

*Simeon Varlamov faced a firing squad in his first taste of NHL hockey. He stopped all 18 shots, including five in a flurry to finish the period. His rebound control needs work, but his athletic ability was on display as he scrambled to make up for it.


*Fleischmann knocked the puck out of mid-air on his power-play goal, and John Carlson was credited with an assist on the play. Bradley picked up the puck after a Carolina defenseman took out Quintin Laing but also himself, giving Bradley a clear path to the net.

*The young pairing of Carlson and Sami Lepsito struggled a bit against the Carolina pressure, but not nearly as badly as Milan Jurcina and Jakub Cutta did. Jurcina made a bad decision to pass the puck from the right wall to Cutta in front of the net that nearly led to a 1-on-0 chance for the ‘Canes. In general, the duo coughed up the puck too much and couldn’t get it out of their own end.

*Eric Fehr blew past a guy to get to a loose puck, much in the same way he did to Chris Clark for an empty-net goal in a scrimmage the other day. He looks like he has another gear (or three) with a healthy back.