The Washington Capitals remained undefeated at 3-0 defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins last night in overtime, 3-2. Despite winning their first three games, the Caps have yet to wrap up a competitor in regulations this season.
Of course, the most talked about news was the fight between Jay Beagle and the Pens Arron Asham. Beagle was flattened and sent to he ice in a pool of blood. The controversy came after Beagle went down and a sleeping gesture made by Asham. No one was harder on Asham post game than Asham himself, calling his gesture ‘uncalled for’ and a ‘classless’ response. More troublesome to me was the cheering of the Pens fans. Then again, what do you really expect from that fan base?
The last laugh went to the Capitals and defenseman Dennis Wideman. After the Penguins racked up 5 power play opportunities to zero for the caps, Alexander Oveckin drew a penalty by Jordan Staal in overtime to put the Caps on the power play. Then around the 3 minute mark, Wideman took the puck and passed it over to Nicklas Backstrom, Backstrom made a nifty pass back to Wideman, who slammed the puck past Pens goalie Brent Johnson to lift the Capitals to their 8th consecutive win in Pittsburgh. The Cap-s mastery over the Penguins improved to 12-1-2 in their last 15 games against the Pens. Unbelievable.
James Neal scored the first of two goals on the night for the Penguins in the first period at the 2:27 mark. The Neal goal was it for the first period as the Pens absolutely dominated in shots on net, 12-3.
Mike Knuble would tie it up, scoring the second period’s only goal, in a charge to the net from the right side of Johnson. Knuble’s tally was assisted by Alexander Semin and Karl Alzner, Alzner’s 3rd assist of the short season. The Caps put 11 shots on net while the Pens put 9 on Tomas Vokoun.
The Caps took a 2-1 lead just 27 seconds into the game, on a booming shot from Mike Green that was deflected past Johnson by Ovechkin. It was Ovechkin’s first goal of the season. The Green shot was just one of three shots on net by the Caps all of the third period. Neal scored his second of the game a little after the 16 minute mark, to tie the game up at 2-2. That goal would ultimately send the game to overtime.
The fickle Capitals fans had nothing but cheers for Tomas Vokoun on a fine performance, one game after Vokoun received boos and mocks at the Verizon Center. Vokoun looked like the elite goal tender that he us last night, stopping 39 of 41 shots on goal and saving the capitals on a number of occasion with some pretty nifty saves, particularly in the third period in which the Pens out shot the Caps 18-3 and dominated puck time in the Capitals zone. Vokoun improves to 2-0 on the season.
MULTI POINT SCORERS:
Nicklas Backstrom, 2 assists
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Tomas Vokoun, stopped 39 of 41 shots on net and overcame a poor debut performance.
* Capitals are absolutely dominating Pittsburgh and have now won 8 straight in Pittsburgh. They improved to 12-1-2 in the last 15 games against the Pens.
* Pittsburgh out shot Washington 41-19.
* Jeff Halpern was 6 for 8 on faceoff wins.
* Dennis Wideman again led the Capitals in ice time with an even 22 minutes. he was followed by Mike Green (21:53), Jeff Schultz (21:46), and Roman Hamrlik (21:07)
* Karl Alzner had a total of 10 assists in 82 games last season. He has an assist in each of the first three games this season.
* Nicklas Backstrom's 2 assist night gives him the team lead with 4 points, all assists.