The Capitals won 6-5 in a shootout over the Tampa Bay Lightning and got a little redemption after being swept out of the playoffs last season, it was not a pretty win to say the least, but two guys came to play in a big way and helped lead the Caps to a 2-0-0 record.
The first was Marcus Johansson didn’t take being benched opening night lightly as he was all over the place. Jason Chimera said Johansson came out with a little “piss and vinegar” tonight and Bruce Boudreau said “That’s absolutely what you’re looking for” from Johansson coming back from the benching. By the second period alone he had attempted nine shots and had a goal and an assist and led the Caps with his energy. Marcus said afterwards, “It’s great. Maybe not the way we won the game, but we got two points and we’ll correct our mistakes. We got two points so we’re happy with that.”
Also Jason Chimera was doing everything he had to do to win by punching in two, including the equalizer with only 2:44 left in the game and leading the third line to another impressive performance. Chimera ended up with seven shots on goal in just under 15 minutes of ice time and 3 hits to boot.
One guy who didn’t come to play tonight, Tomas Vokoun, in his Caps debut, gave up five goals, but two were deflected in, another was a defensive breakdown in front, and two were awful goals he should’ve stopped from the side of him. Vokoun was very candid after the game saying “they literally won today without goaltending”. Vokoun stopped 23 of 28 shots, but stopped 5 in overtime and both shootout shooters he faced.
Boudreau said after the game, “If you asked Tomas (Vokoun), he’ll be the first one to tell you that’s probably not the way he wrote the script. I guess if you’re trying to look at the big picture, it takes a guy with a lot of mental toughness to play like that. And then in the overtime when you’re having four-on-three against you and you make those three or four huge saves. I got to believe if it was me, I would have been so mentally out of it… and he comes up and he makes those big saves and he makes the save in the shootout. It told me a lot about his character and it ends up as a positive thing even if he didn’t have a positive game for the most part.”
The Caps power play and defense continues to struggle. The power play went 0 for 7 and is now 2 for 12 on the year while they have given up 8 goals in two games. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom & Alexander Semin were all -2 and after the game Boudreau talked about Ovechkin’s season so far and said, “he’s our number one player, but he can be better, there’s no doubt about it”.
The Capitals will take tomorrow off and then prepare for their first road game of the season as they head to Pittsburgh to take on their hated rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night.
1 4:49 Johansson (1), Alzner (2)
1 16:50 Wideman (1), Halpern (1), Perreault (1)
2 3:42 Brouwer (1), Schultz (1), Johansson (1)
3 4:00 Chimera (2), Laich (1), Ward (2)
3 17:16 Chimera (3) unassisted
Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Tomas Vokoun, Marcus Johansson, Jason Chimera, Matt Hendricks and Dennis Wideman had to say following the win.
Bruce Boudreau Post-Game Press Conference Video
Locker Room Interviews Video (Matt Hendricks, Jason Chimera, Dennis Wideman)
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Tomas Vokoun Postgame Audio
Marcus Johansson Postgame Audio
Jason Chimera Postgame Audio
Matt Hendricks Postgame Audio
Dennis Wideman Postgame Audio