Rhinocer-LaRose: Capitals 2, Hurricanes 3 (SO)

For the 4th time this season, a Washington Capitals contest against the Carolina Hurricanes required extra innings to determine a winner. It was a night for rookie defensemen as Jamie McBain netted his second goal of the season as he started the ‘Canes scoring on an early power play opportunity and Bryan Rodney lit the lamp for the first time in his career to round out the first period.  For the Caps, Alex Semin scored 1:43 into the second to cut Carolina’s lead in half, leading to American hero John Carlson‘s first NHL goal in the third to push the game to overtime and the eventual shoot out. After some impressive saves by Semyon VarlamovChad LaRose managed to slip one by the Russian goaltender in the 5th inning of the shoot out to secure the Hurricanes’ W.  Overall, the Capitals seemed drained from an emotional victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins and immediate travel to Raleigh, but thankfully Varly was finally able to piece 60 minutes of profound hockey together in the same game to keep the game within reach. On the opposite side of the rink Carolina backstop Manny Legace saw more rubber than the beltway at rushhour(43 shots-with everyone but Dave Steckel taking a shot), but stood on his head to repeatedly deny Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom. Although saddled with the loss, the Capitals set (yet another) franchise record for points accumulated in a season with 109. Onward and upward!

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Old man in the Boychuk jersey- If you’re not going to pay attention, at least make the jump to read the breakdown!

The Good:

- Everything about John Carlson’s goal in the third period. Jason Chimera showed his breakout speed and soft hands with a nice touch pass that culminated with John-boy crashing the net. Bellissimo!

- Varlamov seems to have finally found his stride, finishing the game with a .935 save % and shutting out the ‘Canes for the final 50:51 of the contest. Even better? Varly got stronger as the game wore on and not visa versa.

- Tom Poti‘s 4 blocked shots were more than double any other Capital, and were 31% of the Caps’ 13 total blocked shots.

- Brendan Morrison taking 11-of-15 faceoffs. Other accoutrements? 2 hits, 1 assist, 1 takeaway, and finishing +1 on the night.

The Bad:

- Bruce Boudreau‘s decision call on Mike Green to counter LaRose’s SO tally. We know your gut told you to go with Mike Knuble yesterday, but what the hell did you have for lunch today?

- Where for art thou, Alex Ovechkin? 6 shots on goal, 6 shots that missed the goal = no goals or assists. In fact, there’s only been 3 goals with AO’s name on it since his annual Super Bowl Sunday hat-trick.

- While the Caps’ PK has quietly gone 8-for-10 in back to back games, the reasons they’re playing a man-down are atrocious.  While Ovechkin can’t be blamed for Manny Legace‘s Oscar worthy performance on a Goalie Interference call, too many men on the ice (and last night’s delay of game) penalties MUST be avoided. I realize it’s a fast-paced game, and players are overflowing with energy and emotion when they’re about to take the ice, but hey – something has to round out this slot.

The Ugly:

- Technical difficulties during the game CSN? For shame!

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