F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 09/28/13 at 08:11 AM ET
Washington Goals: Fehr (Byers), Ovechkin PPG (Carrick, Perreault), Wilson (Grabovski, Chimera), Fehr (Carrick, Perreault), Ovechkin PPG (Fehr, Carrick), Perreault ENG
Philadelphia Goals: Giroux (Read), Hartnell PPG (Courturier, Timonen), Simmons (Lecavalier, Schenn)
Eric Fehr continued his hot preseason with two more goals last night after two the other night against Nashville. The first was more of a right place/right time situation as Ray Emery was caught out of his net and Fehr simply had to redirect Dane Byer's pass. His second goal came after a Connor Carrick missed shot. As the puck bounced around the back of the net, Fehr took a couple swipes at it, potting it over the sprawled Emery.
It might not be quite the headline as Fehr, but Ovechkin also racked up a couple goals, both on the power play. The first a typical Ovechkin one time, being fed from Connor Carrick for a one timer. The second was more of a gift from Emery who failed to corral a weak shot from Carrick. Essentially an empty net for Ovechkin.
Tom Wilson continued his strong case for not being sent back to Major Junior with another goal. How a guy his size can sneak in behind Brayden Coburn is beyond me, but Wilson did just that as he was on the receiving end of sublime pass from Grabovski to tap the puck past Emery.
Tom Wilson's strong play is not the greatest of news from Mathieu Perreault, who looks to still be on the outside of the Caps starting line-up. Perreault had a decent game, using his speed to some success. It was his hard pressure on Emery behind the net that resulted in the first Eric Fehr goal. It's more that his size continues to hurt him. There were multiple incidents where Perreault folded too easily with possession in the offensive zone. Perreault would add the empty net goal to ice it, granted he might have high sticked the puck just before.
If Wilson was the forward who helped himself the most, Connor Carrick clearly earned that honor on the blueline. He led the Caps skating 22 minutes, and picking up three assists in the process. It might not be enough to get him on the ice in Chicago next week, but he's definitely making himself a top candidate for injury call-up. His one knock will be two penalties, including one while on the powerplay.
To me, Dmitry Orlov was at the opposite end of the spectrum. He showed some great offensive flair, but his mental lapses really hurt him. After wowing the fans with a great show of speed out of his own zone, he promptly turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Claude Giroux would score the Flyers first goal moments later, starting their comeback. He's got great wheels, but his decision making still leave something to be desired. Dima will probably be back in Pennsylvania next week.
The fight-filled preseason continued last night as the Caps and Flyers dropped the gloves five times, making it 17 for the Caps this preseason. Per NHL.com's Adam Vingan, the Capitals fought 16 times all of last season. I personally like to see this team a little rough around the edges, but they need to time some of it better. The first two goals came on the faceoffs following Caps's goals. Tom Wilson pummeled Brayden Schenn after the Caps went up 2-0 and Dane Byers going with Adam Hall after it was 3-0. Byers took the worst of it that time around and the Flyers would score the next three goals. It's fine in the preseason, but you can't be giving teams a chance to regain momentum. I about lost it when Volpatti and Hall dropped gloves shortly after the Caps had gained a 4-3 lead.
I don't know whether or not we can expect this many fights when the Flyers and Caps meet on November 1 in Philly, but I can guess Zac Rinaldo might have to answer the bell at least once. The Flyer goon was given a 5+Game for a elbow on Grabovski midway through the first period. The referees quickly escorted Rinaldo off the ice to prevent any shenanigans. He will most likely have a call from Shanahan before the season starts.
Michal Neuvirth, making what should be his last start of the preseason, had a good showing, stopping 32 of 35 shots to get the win. The first two goals really left him with nothing to do. Claude Giroux was left alone in the slot on the first goal. Somehow Oleksy completely forgot about Hartnall for the second. The third goal probably leaves a bad taste in his mouth, though. After having a shot go past him, Neuvirth sat their dejected. What he didn't realize was that the puck had hit the post and stayed out of the net. He would not be able to recover as Philly was able to collect the puck and actually put the puck in the net. Play until you hear the whistle. Neuvirth still figures to be the back-up to start the year.
All in all, the Caps will head out of this one with their heads up. They might not like giving up a three-goal lead, but a 5-3 win over a Flyers team that featured most of their starting night line-up is something worth enjoying. The Caps, meanwhile, rested a lot of big names like Green, Erat, Brouwer, Carlson, and Ward. The Caps will take the ice for their final preseason game tonight in Chicago.
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Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
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