Sunday, March 21, 2010 1:21am
By Joe Beninati
Good defense, timely offense and very solid goaltending---it all added up to another Washington win down in Tampa Saturday night. While most of the sporting world was shocked by Kansas losing in the NCAA tournament, there will be no worry about the Capitals falling in upset fashion.
Thomas Fleischmann was on the receiving end of a nice feed from Eric Fehr to get the Caps off to a flying start less than 3 minutes into the game. The Lightning turned up the heat on Jose Theodore after that opening tally. Vinny Lecavalier, Teddy Purcell and Brandon Bochenski were cycling the puck in expert fashion, and Lecavalier coverted just shy of the 7 minute mark. It would be the only blemish on an otherwise perfect night for Theodoremore on him later.
Alex Ovechkin came to the rink on a mission this evening, and he was sent in solo by Nick Backstrom just 4 minutes after Lecavalier's goal. The Great 8 made a forceful move to his forehand that Antero Nittymaki could not counter, and the Caps had a lead they would never relinquish.
After the 3 goal first, both teams tightened things down in a scoreless second period. The Bolts had their chances, but Theodore would not budge in goal. His confidence is sky high right now. Caps' fans won't get tired of hearing that he's 16-0-2 since mid-January. Pucks are hitting him and sticking close to him, and if his rebound control stays this steady, hell be that much tougher to beat as we move into spring.
Steve Downie tried his best to be a pain-in-the-neck throughout the middle period. He loves to agitate with the hope of drawing penalties and breaking an opponent's concentration. He took a selfish penalty late in regulation that was a sign of his teams collective frustration. I enjoyed that.
DC put the game out of reach in the third after a beautiful open-ice move by Brooks Laich led to an Alex Semin deposit of a goalmouth rebound.
It wasnt a pretty win, but it was efficient. Now the team gets back home, takes a deep breathe, and gets set for Pittsburgh on Wednesday at Verizon. That sounds like fun. See you on Comcast SportsNet.