F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 01/10/14 at 11:00 PM ET
The Washington Capitals made it two wins in two nights as they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. It was once again a late goal, this time from Joel Ward, that sent them home with a win. On to the reCap:
Washington Goals: Ovechkin 32 (Grabovski, Green); Backstrom 11 (Unassisted); Ward (Johansson, Ovechkin)
Michal Neuvirth: WIN; 29 Saves; 2 Goals Allowed
Toronto Goals: van Riemsdyk 16 PP (Kessel, Bozak); Kessel 21 (van Riemsdyk, Gunnarsson)
James Reimer: LOSS; 32 Saves; 3 Goals Allowed
John Erskine, known as the Albatross around these parts, should probably avoid making contact with officials. The higher-ups tend to frown upon that.
Mike Green is probably as close to his old form as he has been over the past couple of years. He has five points over the past three games. He also was pretty good in his own end. It's been long known the Caps need a productive Mike Green.
Michal Neuvirth made his first start tonight since November 22. He did spend a fair amount injured/down in Hershey, but has been a healthy scratch for the last 11 games, during which his agent announced that his client would like to be traded. It certainly didn't look like he had rust, making huge saves in the third period to keep his team in front. This was arguably one of the better goaltending performances for the Caps in recent weeks.
Tom Wilson and John Erskine are something else when it comes to fighting. After Tom Wilson dispatched Ashton, John Erskine absolutely leveled Colton Orr, no small guy. Colton Orr did not take another shift in the game. And I had to do a double-take seeing a name like Carter Ashton.
Crazy run in the third for Nicklas Backstrom. A defensive zone pass attempt took an odd bounce and nearly went past Neuvirth. At the other end, he has another pass take a weird bounce, this time past Reimer for the tying goal. But yet he failed to give the Caps a lead on a wide-open net minutes later.
Quite the game for Olympians. Team USA accounted for both of Toronto's goals and Team Russia (Ovechkin) and Team Sweden (Backstrom) accounted two of Washington's. So two American goals for the Canadian team. Weird.
After starting the game 0/3 on the power play, Oates shook things up and did not send Ovechkin out to start the fourth power play. He would go out with the second unit, getting an assist on Joel Ward's winner, albeit after the penalty expired.
Even-strength assist for Ovechkin in back-to-back games. Trending up!
This was a game that the Caps had to leave with two points, which they did. The pessimist in me, though, says this one was a bit more difficult than they would have liked. They did outshoot Toronto, but barely. They lost the faceoff battle rather badly, and they are one of the better faceoff teams. Still, points are points.
If they can make it 6 points out of 6 with a win against Buffalo on Sunday, that will hopefully give them a push to stay with the suddenly-hot Metropolitan Division.
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About F Street Faithful
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.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.