Capitals

Dave Johnson: Talley's Late Penalty Seals DC Win

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Dave Johnson: Talley's Late Penalty Seals DC Win

Saturday, May 29, 2010 11:00 PM By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comWashington---For DC United there was resolve, redemption and ultimately a result to equal the effort. Before 13,043 at RFK Stadium, United not only ended a three game losing streak but ended a 351 minute scoreless drought in a 3-2 win over Chivas USA.United showed resolve by responding to an early deficit and there was redemption for United defender Carey Talley. On Chivas first goal, Talley was beaten, but in stoppage time he calmly converted the game-winning penalty kick against the team that waived him in pre-season.Talley was able to play hero after a charging Santino Quaranta was tripped up by Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton at the six yard box. A foul was called and Thornton was red-carded. With Chivas out of subs defender Dario Delgado had to get in goal which Talley said only added to the pressure on him to make the kick.Talleys penalty kick was the exclamation mark on a night when United dominated possession and kept Thornton busy. From the opening kick United seemed determine to add substance to the talk that Wednesdays win over AC Milan was the start of better things to come.Just minutes into the match Thornton was forced to make a point-blank save on Danny Allsopp after Andy Najar had triggered a counter attack. It was Najar who won the ball from Mariano Trujillo at midfield and then was able to deliver a precise cross to Allsopp.Only 17, Najar continued to play beyond his years. United was able to use his pace and creativity to launch attacks from the right flank and Najar also did well recovering on defense and was very active in getting on the turf and winning tackles.Najars work would be rewarded but not before Chivas USA stunned United on a Justin Braun goal in the 15th minute. Braun was able to get behind Talley and get to edge of the six yard box after receiving a long ball from Annandale, Virginias Michael Lahoud.Suddenly the script was eerily familiar. United with chances and no goals and then playing from behind. The frustration intensified after the Chivas goal when it appeared Santino Quaranta was fouled by Delgado in the box but there was no call.The frustration did not consume United and instead the same resolve the Black and Red displayed in the win over Milan was on display again. United continued to dominate and almost broke through in the 22nd minute on a Quaranta free kick that was deflected away by Thornton even with Chris Pontius crashing to the goal.Finally United received just rewards. After a Quaranta corner was cleared, United left back Rodney Wallace stepped up to serve a ball into the box. Najar was able to get on the end of the bouncing ball with header he drilled past Thornton to bring the score level in the 26th minute.DC United would carry their momentum into the second half. Before being substituted for by Adam Cristman, Allsopp again would test Thornton from close range and hit the post with a driven shot.For all of Allsopps work it was Cristman who was able to break through in the 76th minute. Thornton lunged out to snare a Clyde Simms cross, only to have it go off the boot of his defender Delgado and hit the post before Cristman tapped it home.Uniteds resolve was tested again when four minutes after Cristmans goal, Maykel Galindo was able to slip in behind the United defense and slot home a goal to bring the score level again at two.There was no sense of defeat in Uniteds camp despite the circumstances. Instead United played through with determination and in the end were rewarded with the game deciding penalty kick.Along with the three points for United, there is the satisfaction of the way they played. Allsopp and Quarnata paired well together, and it is clear that given time Quaranta might become very comfortable in a consistent role up top.One day Najar might end up in the middle of the park, like a traditional number 10, but for now given his size and age he is a perfect fit on the flank with more room to operate. The midfield was also well supported with Stephen King starting next to Simms.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.

MORE CAPITALS: BIZARRE SEQUENCE LEADS TO CAPS SCORING AND GETTING PENALIZED AT THE SAME TIME

A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS OF THE GAME FROM CAPS-SABRE

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3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson.

Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's first two goals. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.