Reporting Sky Kerstein
Tomas Vokoun is paying back the team in a big way after having another outstanding performance and leading the Capitals to a 2-1 victory, their first non overtime win of the season, and a 4-0-0 start for the first time since 97-98 when they went to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Vokoun stopped 33 of 34 shots on the way to his third straight victory. Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau talked about Vokoun following the game and said, “I just thought the first game wasn’t so good, the second game was really good and tonight was really really good, let’s just hope he keeps adding one of those really’s into every game.”
Nicklas Backstrom got the Caps scoring going in the first on the power play when Alex Semin found him in the slot and then Marcus Johansson scored just a few minutes later when he did a wrap around that beat Alex Auld five hole to give the Caps their first two goal lead of the young season.
Both of Johansson’s goals this season have come on wrap arounds and Johansson described his goal after the game, “I was looking for Sasha [Alexander Semin] in the middle and you know I couldn’t find [him], so I was just trying to get it to the net. Sometimes it works.”
The two goal advantage didn’t last long, Filip Kuba beat Vokoun high in the final minute of the first on a defensive breakdown, but after that both the Caps offense disappeared, but luckily for the Caps Vokoun and the defense were on point. The Caps were out shot 34-26 in the game, but were out shot 26 to 12 the final two periods.
Boudreau said afterwards, “I thought we came out and played a really good first period. Thought the second period we were backing up and the third period they came out at us but we were skating and moving our legs. They had some great chances but [Tomas] Vokoun stood tall. I thought we were disciplined. We didn’t want to take any penalties against them and didn’t do that. We had some chances to break it open but we didn’t do it. In the clutch, we did what we had to do. Not every game is going to be beautiful and the other team wants to win too.”
Boudreau also said, “there was a lot of good signs.” Some of those “good signs” were the Caps went one for three on the power play and only gave up one goal tonight after surrendering ten goals in their first three games. Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin led the team with seven shots on goal and Troy Brouwer and Mike Knuble led the charge on hits with four a piece.
Capitals defenseman Roman Hamrlik, who got the hard hat, became the all-time leader for games play by a Czech native with 1,315 career games. Hamrlik talked about the accomplishment after the game, “It feels good. When I started playing I never thought that I can make it and I’ve played so many games, but the most important thing is that we have two points tonight. And you know, that was just another game for me. There have been lots of games and hopefully more coming.”
The Capitals have Sunday off before they get back to practice on Monday and prepare to host the Florida Panthers Tuesday night.
1 6:58 Backstrom (1), Semin (2), Knuble (1)
1 12:01 Johansson (2), Knuble (2), Wideman (2)
Listen here to what Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau had to say following the game on the win, Tomas Vokoun’s performance, the power play, Marcus Johansson and much more.
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Also listen to what Tomas Vokoun, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Mike Knuble and Roman Hamrlik had to say after the win.
Tomas Vokoun Postgame Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Postgame Audio
Marcus Johansson Postgame Audio
Mike Knuble Postgame Audio
Roman Hamrlik Postgame Audio