I'll just come out and say it:
The Washington Capitals owned the Carolina Hurricanes last night.
I don't really want to say that the 'Canes were bad, just that the Caps were that good. Now it wasn't all great as the Caps fell behind in the first. I could have been more, but the refs had their corrective lenses on during Jeff Skinner's attempt at a goal.
I swear there was a six minute portion of the third period where the game was literally tiled in the Hurricanes' end and it looked like they would NEVER get out. Part of that third period flurry featured the first ever NHL goal by one Cody Eakin. Which was brought to you by...A good pass from Sasha Semin. What a way to break into the bigs. Speaking of Sasha, nice move to the net about a few minutes later...would have been sweeter had it gone in.
So sorry 'Canes fans but last night our Jeff was better than your Jeff.
It's really simple--if the Caps can keep up this kind of play, they've got it made. Power play knocked one home with a laser shot from the point by our favorite American pointman, John Carlson. On behalf of my fantasy team...THANK YOU JOHNNY! Penalty kill even had a good night, shutting down the Carolina power play all four times.
Das Kapitan finished the night with 2 helpers, Nicklas Backstrom got a goal and an assist, but Troy Brouwer also got a goal (the game winner) and an assist in only 12:52 of ice time. Talk about bang for the buck.
Something else weird--with what was until now the most productive line finished a collective minus three. Jason, Joel, and Brooks didn't look like they were having too much fun out there, either. But that's why we thank God, er George, for having a balanced attack.
Good to see John Erskine stand up to Eric Staal. Hard to miss the fact that Staal wasn't nearly so effective after that. He was so tough in fact that the Caps only had to make six hits.....wait a minute......?
Michal Neuvirth did much better for himself, stopping 24 out of 25. He's not playing like a 1A even though he seems to have been pigeonholed in that role for now.
Next up are the men from Long Island and another star Blueliner named Mark Streit. If the Caps can score early and keep both Streit and Michal Grabner in check, they should have a good chance to win.