In a span of 48-seconds the Washington Capitals went from enjoying a 3-0 lead over the visiting Buffalo Sabres to fighting to keep a 3-2 lead. The Caps found the score sheet just over the halfway mark of first period on a 5-on-3 power play feed from Alex Semin to Nicklas Backstrom and added a Matt Bradley tally 3 minutes before first intermission to go up 2-0. Jason Chimera tallied his second assist on the night during the opening minutes of the second period on a behind-the-net pass to Dave Steckel. Then the brain fart happened: Michal Neuvirth was beaten by both Derek Roy and Jordan Leopold within 48 seconds of each other allowing Buffalo to climb back into the game at 3-2. DC managed to hold strong through the final minutes for the win, largely in part to an excellent kick save by Neuvi on Derek Roy with 7 seconds left. Semin padded his stats and added salt to the wound with an empty-netter to close the books on the Caps 14th win of the season at 4-2.
– In the night de Bradley, the Professor had a goal, an assist, sent 5 shots to Ryan Miller. Not bad, eh?
– Speaking of Brads, he and his linemates Chimera and Steckel combined for two goals and three assists, was a combined +6 and rang up 5 hits and 3 blocked shots.
– Although an ENG, Alex Semin now has 14 goals in 19 games and trails only the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos for the league lead.
– The Capitals line change du jour featured Marcus Johansson centering the top line. How’d he do? Glad you asked. He was excellent on the dot, leading all Caps (10-of-15) and chalked up 2 shots on goal, 2 blocked shots and a takeaway in just over 15 minutes of ice time.
– Although Neuvi recorded his league-best 12th win, it seemed that midway through the second period he lost concentration, got fatigued, or was still spell bound by Chimmera’s between the legs pass that set up the Caps’ first goal. Whatever it was, he managed to shake out of it quickly (thank goodness).
– The defensive pairing of John Erskine and Tyler Sloan combined for a mere 25:31 of ice time on the night. Not that I want them on-ice all that much, but to put it in perspective Mike Green skated 25:04.
– Smokin’ Al on the play by play. Please, get good soon Joey B.