In a battle between national capitols, The Washington Capitals hung on to defeat the Ottawa Senators, 2-1. It certainly was not pretty. In fact, it was down right ugly. However, despite being overall dominated in the second and third periods, Caps managed to improve to 4-0 and move into a tie for first overall in the Eastern Conference with Pittsburgh, who lost 3-2 tonight to Buffalo.
Both of the Caps goals came in the first period. The first came on a power play marker from Nicklas Backstrom, snapping a 13 game goalless streak. The Backstrom goal was made possible by a sweet pass from Alexander Semin right across Ottawa goalie Alex Auld and Backstrom buried against the tall netminder. Semin and Knuble picked up the assists. The maker came at the 8:47 mark of the first period. Marcus Johansson struck nearly 4 minutes later on a wrap around goal put past Auld. Ottawa would pull to within one goal with just 26 second left in the first period by Peter Regin. That was it for the scoring.
Washington was simply out hustled and out played in the final two remaining periods, but Tomas Vokoun, for the second consecutive game, proved his worth and elite net minder label, making some dazzling saves and bailing out blue line lapses. Vokoun stopped 33 of 34 shots to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Washington was out shot by the Senators 12-4 in the second period and 14-8 in the final period. The Caps were 1 for 3 on the man advantage and were 1 for 1 on the penalty kill.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tomas Vokoun