The Capitals were trying to be the fifth team to ever start a season 7-0-0 and led by two Mike Green power play goals and another amazing effort by Tomas Vokoun, they routed the previously undefeated Detroit Red Wings 7-1. The Red Wings, who are now 5-1-0, came into the game allowing only seven goals all season before tonight.
Even Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau couldn’t predict the game playing out like this,
“No and the score definitely wasn’t a 7-1 game. I’m sitting behind the bench and going that’s one fantastic team. The first 10 minutes, it came at you in waves. They are so fast and they know where everybody is. The difference was our goalie was better than their goalie tonight. I think they just ran out of steam, with their second game in two nights, in the second period.”
It was only the second time in the history of the NHL two teams that were 5-0-0 or better met and the Capitals took advantage of the Red Wings who were playing their second game in as many night, but it wasn’t easy. The Red Wings came out really strong and the Capitals, led by some great saves by Tomas Vokoun, weathered the storm just took to strike two blows 1:01 apart. First Mike Green from the point through traffic on the power play at the 14 min mark then Marcus Johansson put it high over back up goalie Ty Conklin all set up by a great Mike Knuble takeaway.
In the second the Red Wings out shot the Caps 16-6, but Mike Green got another power play goal through traffic from the point and Mathieu Perreault took all the momentum the Wings got in the period putting in a Matt Hendricks shot that went five hole through Conklin’s pads with less than 8 seconds left in the period. The Red Wings dominated the period much to two 5 on 3 advantages and scored on one of them. Even so, Tomas Vokoun continued his stellar play and made big save after big save.
The Caps put the game away in the third with three goals, first by Joel Ward who got a great feeder pass by Brooks Laich, then Mathieu Perreault got his second from a great face off win by Matt Hendricks and finally Nickals Backstrom deflected a John Carlson shot and put the exclamation point on top. In their last two games, the Capitals have played two of the top teams in the NHL and gave both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings their first regulation losses of the season and outscored them a combined 12-3.
Tomas Vokoun won his sixth in a row and stopped 32 of 33 shots. Afterwards Bruce Boudreau talked about his play,
“He was great. He’s been great ever since the 15 minute mark of the second game. He’s been outstanding.”
The Capitals power play also clicked tonight after doing a special teams practice yesterday and Mike Green with two goals had what Boudreau said was probably his best game in a year. Caps defenseman Mike Green talked about their success on the power play,
“I think what we have done, is we move the puck quick and we get them moving around and it creates openings and it creates chances. I think in the past we have stood around waiting for guys to get open and that doesn’t work.”
The Capitals have had some luck during this win streak, they’ve played the opponent’s back up goalie five times and have played three teams on the second end of back to backs. Defenseman Dennis Wideman got an assist and now has a point in every game this season.
The Capitals will have a few days to relax before they fly to Edmonton Tuesday and start a quick two game west coast swing with the Oilers Thursday and the Vancouver Canucks Saturday.
1 14:00 PP Green (2), Backstrom (8), Ovechkin (3)
1 15:01 Johansson (4), Semin (4), Knuble (4)
2 4:59 PP Green (3), Ovechkin (4), Wideman (5)
2 19:52 Perreault (2), Hendricks (2), Green (2)
3 8:17 Ward (2), Laich (3), Green (3)
3 11:19 Perreault (3), Halpern (2), Hendricks (3)
3 17:21 Backstrom (2), Carlson (2), Brouwer (2)
Listen here to what Bruce Boudreau, Mike Green, Tomas Vokoun, Mathieu Perreault & Joel Ward had to say following the big win.
Bruce Boudreau Press Conference Video
Locker Room Interviews Video (Mike Green, Tomas Vokoun, Mathieu Perreault, Joel Ward)
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Mike Green Postgame Audio
Tomas Vokoun Postgame Audio
Mathieu Perreault Postgame Audio
Joel Ward Postgame Audio