- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 10, 2012

BOSTON — So this is what it’s like to have a functioning power play.

The Washington Capitals had been 2 for their last 37 opportunities, much of that with defenseman Mike Green back after surgery.

Then came Saturday, with Green serving the first game of his suspension, when the Capitals‘ power play looked the sharpest it has in weeks. The result was one big goal by Brooks Laich (their fourth) as part of a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. The positivity afterward had to do with the process as much as production (1-for-3).

“We had good movement,” said Laich, who broke the power-play spell. “I talked before that our power play was getting one look and that was it; tonight, we got those second and third opportunities. That’s when the penalty killers are tired and they’re going to make mistakes.”

The Bruins‘ penalty kill looked disjointed. The Capitals managed to thread the puck through the slot so many times that Boston players were flailing around even more than goaltender Tim Thomas.

“I thought we moved it around very well, give ‘em different looks and we got rewarded for it, finally,” coach Dale Hunter said.

This was a power play featuring Alex Ovechkin back on the point in Green’s absence, and things seemed to work seamlessly. Every man advantage seemed to be happening on a fresh sheet of ice, and the Bruins couldn’t keep up.

Laich said recovering the puck was key.

“We went over video before and there were areas that we thought could expose them, on our goal I had one two, two shots on that shift before I scored,” he said.

It also didn’t hurt that after a few lightly officiated games that Washington had three power plays in less than 10 minutes in the second period.

“It does help. You get more rhythm going,” Hunter said. “We try to do it practice, but it’s your own players and you don’t shoot the puck as hard because you might hurt them with the puck. It’s good to get a few power plays.”

Good to get a goal to pick up some confidence for a beleaguered unit.

“We move the puck. We move it in the zone,” Ovechkin said. “And we get a result one goal, it’s pretty big for us.”



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