Capitals' Fehr hopes drought is over

Capitals' Fehr hopes drought is over
January 9, 2011, 3:24 am
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Saturday, January 8, 2011, 10:23 p.m.

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By Ryan OHalloran
Staff writer
CSNwashington.com

For a long stretch last month, when he was in the middle of a 12-game goal drought and was even a healthy scratch for a game, Capitals right wing Eric Fehr found himself hoping the puck wouldnt find him

Sometimes when youre fighting it a bit, you would rather the play-makers have it, he said.

But after he scored a goal and assisted on another in the Capitals 3-2 win over Florida on Saturday?

Right now, I want it, especially in the slot area, Fehr said.

While Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin in goal-scoring ruts, the Capitals have relied on secondary scorers like Fehr.

In his last four games, Fehr has three goals and two assists and hopes his first-half struggles goal-less stretches of eight and six games prior to the 12-game skid are in the rearview mirror.

Im feeling a lot better, he said. Pucks are finally going in I feel like Im getting the same opportunities as in the past and pucks are going to go in if you keep throwing them at the net and keep playing consistently.

Said coach Bruce Boudreau: Hes getting more confidence. Maybe hes a naturally slow starter and hes going to come on now.

Before the offense got going, the Capitals survived an awful first period that included only five shots.

We addressed it in the room here between the first and second periods, defenseman Mike Green said. Once we got on the fore-check, they didnt have much after that. IT was one minor thing we needed to adjust and then we needed guys to step up and just put the puck in the net.

Green engineered Fehrs equalizer at 5:32 of the second period, swinging around the goal before centering a pass that found Fehrs stick.

I was just going to the front of the net with my stick down hoping there would be a rebound or anything and luckily he put right on my stick, Fehr said.

Said Green: I cant believe it worked out. I was lucky, I guess.

In a tie game with seven-plus minutes remaining, Green and Fehr again joined forces.

Fehr fed Green, who had pinched from the blue-line and whose back-handed shot from the slot beat Scott Clemmensen for a power-play marker.

The Capitals got goals from Green and Alex Ovechkin, triggering a hope that theyll get on a roll. But Fehrs production is even more important because Backstrom (16 games) and Semin (14 games) are in slumps.

Eventually I have to believe theyre going to score theyre too good of players, Boudreau said.

Until those players get going, Fehr is more than happy to pitch in.

With the way were playing right now, you have to stay patient, play tight defensively and make sure were not giving them any odd-man rushes or any easy opportunities, he said. We just have to hope our strong goal-scoring ability takes over.

Contact Ryan at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com