Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Caps fans love it when a lengthy shootout goes their way and tonight's game gave them an awful lot to appreciate. This game had so many twists and turns. Let's work backwards from the end of the game, back to the opening period.Semyon Varlamov was exceptional in the shootout. His cat-like reflexes were on display as eleven Islanders tried to beat him and only Jeff Tambellini succeeded.The Caps were also stymied byDwayne Roloson at the other end. Alex Semin scored in round two for the home team and then Chris Clark rifled home the eventual game winner in the 11th round. Before that an Islander had the game on his stick, eight straight times to no avail.The Islanders never give up in a hockey game, so it was no surprise to see them rally to tie the game late in regulation. Trent Hunter's 30-foot slapshot was overpowering with 2:08 left, giving the New Yorkers a power play goal that forced overtime. What else is new when these two teams play? Seven of their last nine meetings have not been settled in regulation.Alex Ovechkin would have loved to play in this one. It was a wide open offensive showcase from the beginning. I don't expect Alex to play in this weekend's games. But he had to pleased when his buddy Alex Semin scored just eight seconds into the game with an evil slapshot. That marker tied the Caps record for fastest goal from the start of a game, equaling the late Gaetan Duchesne's goal against St. Louis in March of 1987.The Islanders took that early uppercut and came back with a few big punches of their own. Three goals on just five shots prompted an early exit for Jose Theodore. The only goal I didn't care for was the one by Matt Moulson. Theodore left a bad rebound off the initial shot for Mark Streit which was not a tough one to handle.
Lifting Theodore sparked the Caps to rally for their veteran netminder. A young goalie eventually proved to be the hero on a night when Verizon Center was shaking at games end. See you on CSN for Friday's game with Minnesota.