Finally 50: Capitals 2, Thrashers 1

In a sentence I’m glad to (but never thought I would) write, Matt Bradley out-muscled three-time Norris Trophy recipient Chris Chelios to score the Washington Capitals’ game winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the visiting Atlanta Thrashers. In addition to the professor’s 9th goal on the season, the Caps were able to shake their three-game losing streak with the help of Nicklas Backstrom‘s 30th goal of the season and Semyon Varlamov‘s 19 saves. Tim Stapleton was able to net the Thrashers’ lone goal late in the the second period on a feed past Shaone Morrisonn from Colby Armstrong.  Washington’s win tonight is Number 50 on the season-tying the franchise record set last season- and was the 5th against the Thrash whom they’ve outscored 24-11.

Read the breakdown, after the jump.

The Good:

– Holy wow, Mike Green. I’m not sure how much Muscle Milk you’re drinking, but your passing, hitting, defensive zone awareness and overall hustle was bar none tonight.

– Going 11-for-14 (79%) in the face off circle Dave Steckel made his presence known. 1 assist, 3 blocked shots, 3 take-aways, 4 SOG and 2 hits aren’t a bad way to get Bruce Boudreau‘s attention either.

– Welcome back Varlamov. Number 40’s .950 Sv % on the night is his highest since a 3-0 shutout against Tampa Bay on December 7th.

The Bad:

– Decision making proved to not be a strong suit for Tom Poti or ShaMo while neglecting to stay in position late in the second period, directly resulting to Singleton’s goal.

Joe Corvo. Stop being Joe Corvo.  Not only were you lost all night, Tobias Enstrom turned your jersey inside-out as he blew past you. Thank goodness for Varly, no?

The Ugly:

– We all know that the Verizon Center’s ice is nothing to write home about, but near double digit players hit the ice tonight while skating normal lines. Tomas Fleishmann even had to come off the ice and head to the dressing room after slide tackling a dasherboard.  You’d think it’d be a bit better when the last event at the Phone Booth was the Caps game on Tuesday.

– I don’t know who to blame for this one: Colby Armstrong for laying the people’s elbow on Mathieu Perreault, or the linesmen for looking the other way on the same hit that sidelined MG52 with a 2-game suspension.