Bruce Boudreau had to wait nine days, and four losses, to finally get win number 200, fastest NHL coach ever to get to that mark, as the Caps snap their four game losing streak beating the red hot Coyotes 4-3 at Verizon Center.
“It’s nice to hear the music,” Boudreau said that he told his team following the win on being able to hear the Caps playing locker room music which they do every victory.
It wasn’t easy though as the Caps gave up two shorthanded goals, one of which was a penalty shot, in the first 27:34 of the game and found themselves in a 2-0 deficit. But John Carlson and Cody Eakin both had goals from the point that went off Coyotes sticks and finally the bounces were going the Caps way as the tied the game up at two.
Matt Hendricks, who got the hard hat, fought Kyle Chipchura with 54 seconds remaining in the second and it gave the Caps some momentum to the third.
“It was great timing right before the end of the period to, to give us a little more energy coming on the next period,” defenseman John Carlson said about the fight following the win.
And energy is exactly what it gave the Caps as they put two goals in the first 7:06 of third. First Nicklas Backstrom and then Brooks Laich to give them a much needed 4-2 lead and even though they let one in later, the Caps came away with a win for the first time since November 11th.
“I would of traded a 199 of them for that one today,” Boudreau said on winning his 200th game as a head coach. “When you don’t win for any length of time it get’s tougher, so it came at a good time.”
Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun had 20 saves for his ninth win of the season. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who was called up from AHL Hershey yesterday, made his NHL debut and had 11:56 of ice time with three hits and one blocked shot.
“I was very happy with him,” Boudreau said on Orlov. “I thought he did a great job, I really did.”
The big story of the day though wasn’t even on the ice, as Bruce Boudreau scratched Alexander Semin. It was Semin’s first time being a healthy scratch since the 2003-2004 season and he explained why he did it following the win.
“He’s taken penalties seven games in a row,” Boudreau said on Semin. “At some point you have to be accountable for your errors. I don’t like doing those things to people that are that talented, but everybody’s got to know that everybody’s, everybody’s accountable. It was a tough decision, but it was a decision I thought that had to be made for the group.”
Veteran Mike Knuble, whose played with Alexander Semin for three seasons, also weighed in on the situation.
“Same stuff can’t be sliding, let it go through and let it just sweep it under the rug because it, it ends up showing itself somewhere down the line,” Knuble said. “Nobody is making a mountain out of a mole hill, as far as his situation, [he] should be ready the next time he get’s a chance to play.”
The Capitals, who are 7-1-1 at home, hope to continue to take advantage of their heavy upcoming home schedule with five of their next six at Verizon Center, including their next two contests. The Capitals will practice at 11:30am tomorrow at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to prepare for their Wednesday match up against the Winnipeg Jets.
One side note: Jason Chimera played in his 600th career game.
2nd 8:27 Carlson (3), unassisted
2nd 11:36 Eakin (2), Schultz (5)
3rd 1:52 Backstrom (6), Ward (4), Ovechkin (8)
3rd 7:06 PP Laich (4), Backstrom (16)
Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich & John Carlson had to say following the win.
Locker Room Video (Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, John Carlson)
Bruce Boudreau Press Conference Video
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Mike Knuble Postgame Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Postgame Audio
Brooks Laich Postgame Audio
John Carlson Postgame Audio