Sunday, February 6, 2011
Caps shutout the Pens with Neuvy in net
Today the Penguins tried to avenge their terrible hangover from the Winter Classic in Washington. The Caps did not allow that to happen playing a hard-fought 60 minute game. The scoring started late in the 1st period when Brooks Laich put in a rebound off a John Erskine shot. Also late in the 1st Mike Green took a shot to the side of the head from Brooks Orpik, and did not return to the game.
A goal was taken away from Mike Knuble early in the 2nd period because of a goalie interference call on teammate Matt Hendricks. This would send the Penguins on their first power play of the contest. However the Caps took it to Pittsburgh on the man down. Marcus Johansson scored a shortie on one of the nicest back-hand goals I’ve ever seen to put the Caps up 2-0. The 2nd period ended with a few power play chances for the Caps but they couldn’t capitalize.
In the 3rd period, Penguins player, Tim Wallace, had some unfinished business with my man David Steckel for his hit on Sidney Crosby on New Year’s Day. The two players dropped the mits and squared off with neither side landing any big punches. Also in that period Mike Knuble was high-sticked in a no call and his face was bleeding for the rest of the game. Matt Cooke tripped Alex Ovechkin starting some commotion between teams late in the 3rd. This almost caused another fight with Ovi and Nicky B wanting some vengeance.
Michal Neuvirth in his first game back was unbeatable stopping all 22 shots for his second shutout of the season. In the end it was Mike Knuble with a bloody face that put the nail in the coffin scoring an empty netter. It was The Garbage Man’s 13th goal of the season. I have to point out the Caps D to go along with the stellar play by Neuvy. From the 1st period on the Caps had a 5 defenseman rotation with Mike Green out of the game. Scott Hannan, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Jeff Schultz, and John Erskine congrats on the win; you stepped up big in this win.
This shutout win vs. the Pens has to be a huge confidence boost for the Capitals. The last two wins vs. the Lightning and Pens might be the best 2 games I’ve seen us play in a long time. I think everyone is starting to find out their role on the team, and that is why we are seeing results defensively and offensively. The Caps will face the San Jose Sharks in their next contest Tuesday at the Verizon Center. Rock the Red!
Player of the Game: Caps D (allowed only 22 shots, 0 goals)
Stat of the Game: 22 save shutout (Michal Neuvirth)
Unsung Hero: David Steckel (Crosby is still out from that hit)
Hit of the Game: David Steckel on Sidney Crosby (Winter Classic)