Beninati: OT Over In A Flash

Beninati: OT Over In A Flash

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:51pm

By Joe Beninati

With all the excitement associated with NHL hockey games that go to overtime, you can't help but love it when things wind up going the home team's way.Before this season began, Tomas Fleischmann had never scored against Carolina. He has two goals against them now and this most recent one gave Washington a hard fought victory tonight.The Hurricanes always play the Capitals close as they are considered the most intense of the division rivals. Even though these organizations have never met in the playoffs, this rivalry is supercharged from battling for division titles year after year.Alex Semin started the scoring this evening with a fancy backhanded finish on a breakaway less than three minutes into the contest. Mike Green was shooting well this evening as he bagged a pair of power play goals against veteran netminder Manny Legace. Legace has always had great reflexes and still does at age 37.

At the other end, 33-year-old Jose Theodore was tested severely at times and made several fine stops as dangerous Hurricanes like Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, and Brandon Sutter bore down on him. Theodore remained perfect against penalty shots in regulation this year when he stopped the young Sutter in the first period.Let's go back to Mike Green for a second...He will be blamed for coughing up the clearing pass that led to Tuomo Ruutu's second period goal. The Hurricanes did a nice job of taking away his options on that play. The boards were not available and his decision to play the puck to Nick Backstrom in the middle got him in trouble. The safest way would have been to drill that puck off the glass, but a skillful player like Green doesn't prefer that option.Jussi Jokinen's goal through a heavy screen forced OT after a scoreless third period. In extra time Eric Belanger showed off his passing game to find Fleischmann, joining a three-on-two rush. The game was over in a flash and these two teams collide again next week in Raleigh.The homestand ends Friday with Tampa Bay and we know the Lightning won't lay down in DC.

Quick Links

10 changes that would make the NHL better


10 changes that would make the NHL better

Hockey is one of the most incredible, compelling sports in the world. As fun as it is to watch on TV, it is even more compelling in person and fans in North America are treated to the best hockey in the world as played in the NHL.

But the NHL's not perfect.


Just like every sports league, the NHL is always adjusting and making changes to the game in order to improve it through things like rule changes, expansion, playoff formats, etc.

No sport is perfect and hockey is not without its flaws, but there are a number of clear changes that could be made that would improve both the game and the league.


Quick Links

Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series


Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series

Bryce Harper homered, Max Scherzer struck out seven in six innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Sunday.

Anthony Rendon also had two hits and drove in two runs for Washington, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and helping the Nationals earn a split of the series after Saturday's game was rained out. Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each had three hits.

Two days after a heated exchange with teammate Stephen Strasburg during Friday's 8-5 loss, Scherzer (13-5) allowed two runs and eight hits in his third straight win. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has pitched six or more innings in his last 19 starts.

Kelvin Herrera got five outs for his first save with Washington.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 55 minutes by rain, and another downpour stopped play for almost 100 minutes between the sixth and seventh innings.

Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz (7-6) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Harper singled in Eaton to give Washington a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Matt Adams added another RBI single in the seventh, and Harper added a solo drive in the eighth for his 24th homer.

Scherzer was staked to an early 3-0 lead and then got some help from his defense.

Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the third with a drive off the wall in center, but he was thrown out by Harper while trying for a double. With a runner on first in the fifth, Freddie Freeman's blast to right was chased down by Eaton on the warning track.

Then in the seventh, Michael A. Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall in center to rob Dansby Swanson of extra bases with one runner on.

Washington got off to a fast start with three runs in the first. Rendon drove in Eaton and Harper with a triple down the right-field line, and then scored on Soto's groundout.

Swanson drove in Atlanta's runs with a groundout in the second and a single in the fourth.


Braves: All-Star 2B Ozzie Albies, who left Friday's game with right hamstring tightness, got the day off.

Nationals: RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) experienced extended soreness after throwing off the mound Friday. An MRI Saturday revealed a stress reaction, comparable to a bone bruise, in the bridge of his foot and he is wearing a walking boot. ... RHP Koda Glover (right shoulder tendinitis) was reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.


Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (8-5, 3.51 ERA) pitches the opener of a two-game series in Miami on Monday. He already has beaten the Marlins twice this season, allowing one run in 12 innings.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.72 ERA) opens a three-game series in Milwaukee on Monday night. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career starts versus the Brewers.