Jason Arnott’s impact in Washington, in just two games, is undeniable. His centering assist against the Islanders led to the Brooks Laich goal with 46 seconds left to send the game into overtime, which Alex Ovechkin ended with a game winner. Last night, Arnott took a feed from Alexander Semin and knocked home the game winner at the 14:41 mark.
However, lets face it, it is not just the goal and assist he has added in his first two games that has made the Arnott impact so worthy. Arnott has been part of and created several scoring opportunities through his first two games, looking to the center front of the net on may scoring chances. Conversion will come. It is also the locker room, bench leadership Arnott is proving, evidenced after deriding the Caps a bit after the Isles win, questioning the effort. It is the communication on the bench between shifts that is helping solidify chemistry. Arnott has brought the whole package to Washington this far. Caps fans should be pleased and excited about the Arnott addition.
I like the game Dennis Wideman has brought to DC as well. There are times that Wideman gets caught and has had some pretty rough recoveries, but Wideman is learning the system and the booming shot he brings from outside is quite refreshing. Wideman had an outstanding first period save last night to the left of Michal Nuevirth. One thing is for certain with Wideman and the rest of the capitals, the odd man rushes are coming all too often.
Speaking of Michal Nuevirth, what a terrific span of games this kid has had. His win last night was #21 has tied a Washington capitals franchise record for wins by a rookie net minder. Neuvy improved to 21-10-4 last night, and at least in my opinion, has really solidified himself as the head net minder in Washington. He has won three straight and has allowed just 5 goals on 87 shots over that span. Out of 36 games this season, Neuvirth has allowed 4 or more goals just 7 times. His presence, poise, and movement in the net gave Bruce Boudreau rightful confidence in sticking with the young net minder, rather than making a likely costly trade for Tomas Vokoun.
Back to the win over the Blues, the Caps of course allowed a goal in the first period and failed to put one between the pipes. After leading the NHL last season in first period goals, they are dead last this season with just 38. Alex Steen scored his 18th to give the Blues a 1-0 first period lead, even thought Caps out shot the Blues 10-6.
Scott Hannan tied the game up in the second period with his first goal as a Washington Capital and first goal in 118 games. It was a nice goal that Hannan took to the net. The Hannan tally was assisted by Alex Ovechkin and Matt Hendricks. The tied score would last just a little over two minutes when BJ Crombeen scored for the Blues, giving the Blues a 2-1 lead. John Erskine got caught behind a lead pass to Crombeen. Then at the 6:48 mark, Nicklas Backstron, in full Spring Training mode, took a baseball swing below waist level to know him his 16thof the season and a 2-2 ties. Ovechkin nailed his second assist of the game and Mike Knuble added the primary assist. The second period ended knotted at 2-2.
Arnott’s game winner came at the 14:41 mark, assisted by Semin and Brooks Laich. I can certainly say, over the past two games, this has been one h3eck of an exciting line, getting plenty of scoring opportunities.
Neuvirth stopped 25 of 27 shots for his third consecutive win.
Next up: Florida Panthers, Sunday at 5:00PM in Florida. Wideman return to face the team that dealt him to Washington at the deadline.
Watch Jason Arnott's first goal as a Capital
Game highlights provided by Yahoo Sports.