Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Caps Win; Pull to Within Five Points of 'Canes

Capitals 4, Senators 2

The Capitals, behind a three-point night from Alexander Semin, a strong outing from Brent Johnson and a team total of 21 blocked shots*, swept the season series from the Eastern Conference leading Ottawa Senators and improved to 2-1 on their current homestand.

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The Capitals again managed to keep the Senators best players in check - Jason Spezza had no points and Daniel Alfredsson was limited to just one assist (Dany Heatley is injured and did not play) - and controlled special teams play, going 2-5 on the powerplay and keeping the Senators scoreless on their two chances with the man advantage.

Scoreboard watching Caps fans may have noticed a change in the composition of the Southeast Division as a decimated Hurricanes squad lost and Atlanta won. The 'Canes and Thrashers both have 48 points (to the Capitals 43); since the Thrashers have more wins they're in first. The good news for Caps fans is that Carolina and Atlanta have played 48 and 47 games respectively, while the Capitals have played only 45 and with Edmonton (21-22-4, eight shootout wins) and Florida (20-22-4) coming in to finish off the homestand the Caps have a very good chance to make up some ground. With the way each team has played, if the Capitals can get to a point where they are tied with Atlanta and Carolina for the division lead I think they become to favorite to take the division. And with four remaining games against each Atlanta and Florida, the Capitals will have the chance to prove it.

DMG's 3 Stars
(1) Alexander Semin - 2 goals, 1 assist, +1
(2) Tomas Fleischmann - 2 assists, +1
(3) Alexander Ovechkin - 1 goals (game winner)

* Capitals blocked shot leaders: Milan Jurcina (4), Quintin Laing (3), Shaone Morrisonn (3), Tom Poti (3)

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