The Washington Capitals snapped the Boston Bruins dominance over the Caps this season, with a 5-3 win tonight at the Verizon Center. Caps fans also got to see rookie Braden Holtby enter the game in the mid-third period and earn his first NHL win in his NHL debut.
The Caps and Bruins skated to a 0-0 draw in the first period. Washington out shot the Bruins 8-3, but come first intermission, the score remained scoreless.
Just like the rest of this season, the second period became a big one for the Caps. The first goal came off a draw at the :56 second mark, a booming shot from Tyler Sloan (1). It was Sloan's first goal of the season and his first goal since November 6, 2009, one day shy of one calendar year. The Sloan goal was assisted by Tomas Fleischmann. Seven minutes later, Mike Green (3) struck for his third goal of the year and extended his goal streak to three straight games. What a beauty it was, as Green did a sweet curl and drag, hesitation while Gregory Campbell slid to block and then Green unloaded after Campbell passed Green. Green's goal was assisted by a Nicklas Backstrom pass to Alex Ovechkin, and an Ovechkin centering pass to Green. Two minutes and ten seconds before the end of the second period, Alexander Semin would score his 8th goal of the season, a short handed tally fed by Mike Green. It was Semin's first short handed goal of the year and gave the Caps a 3-0 lead at the second intermission. Semin has now scored in 3 consecutive games and has 6 points over his last 3 games. Washington out shot Boston 17-6 in the second period.
Again, similar to a pattern developing, the Caps take a second period lead and nearly give it up in the third period. Boston scored three straight goals to tie it 3-3 late in the third period. The first two Boston goals came on the power play, one from Michale Ryder at the 3:07 mark and the second coming a minute late from Nathan Horton. Boston suddenly was within 1 and 3-2 within one minute. 5 minutes later, Shawn Thorton tied the game up with a goal.
That chased Mcihal Neuvirth from the game replaced by rookie netminder Braden Holtby, while Boston replaced Tim Thomas with Tuukka Rask. Unlike Rask, Holtby was making his NHL debut. Both would be goalies of record since the game was knotted at 3-3.
Rookie John Carlson would put the Caps up for good, blasting a shot off the face off at the 13:25 mark to give the Capitals a 4-3 lead. It was Carlson's second goal of the season. Washington would ice the game at the 19:08 mark with an empty net goal by Ovechkin, his 8th of the season. The Ovechkin empty netter would ice Holtby's first career NHL win in his first NHL game.
Washington only allowed 19 shots on goal. Neuvirth stopped 11 fo 14 and Holtby stopped all 4 shots he faced.
Washington improves to 9-4 and 6-1 at the Verizon Center.
Nicklas Backstrom, 2 assists
Mike Green, 1 goal, 1 assits
Alex Ovechkin, 1 goal 1 assist
DCPSR Player of the Game: MIKE GREEN