Joe Beninati's Blog: That's two

Joe Beninati's Blog: That's two
December 22, 2010, 4:49 am
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:13 p.m.


By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-by-Play

A month ago the New Jersey Devils handed the Caps a resounding 5-0 loss on their home
ice in Newark, tonight Washington returned the favor. It was a command performance by the players on the third and fourth lines that did the trick this evening, leading the Capitals to their second win in succession.

Congrats to Andrew Gordon on his first NHL goal. He got a step on his defender and drove to the net to be on the receiving end of a pretty pass from Marcus Johansson to give Washington a first-period lead. Gordon has produced very nice scoring numbers last year and this season in the American Hockey League, and it was nice to see him stash his first in the big leagues.

The Devils tied the game in the middle period thanks to a Patrick Elias power-play slapper. Former Cap Dainius Zubrus screened Michal Neuvirth, and the blast deflected down off Neuvirths arm to make it 1-1.

From there, the Caps had more skating legs than New Jersey. All of a sudden this winter the Devils just dont have the same jump and the same work rate that has made them a flagship team in the NHL for many years. Their streak of making the playoffs 13 straight seasons is in serious jeopardy.

Jay Beagle, another AHL call-up, rammed in the Caps second goal of the night. He was camped out right in front of Martin Brodeur to take a good feed from Davis Steckel, for what proved to be the game-winner.

Washington lost Matt Bradley in that second period; word is he has a broken finger and will be missing 2-4 weeks, which sadly means he will not be in the line-up for Thursdays tilt with Pittsburgh, and more than likely is out for the Winter Classic in Steeltown.

Jason Chimera was thrilled to end his December drought in the second period as the home team pulled away from the Devs. Chimeras speed put him behind the D, and in spite of a serious hook on the shoulder, he was able to beat Brodeur over his glove.
That was almost the same spot where John Carlson blistered one by Brodeur about 4 minutes later. Alex Ovechkin (still only 2 goals in his last 18 games) was poke-checked on a rush up ice, but he backed the defender off and Carlson stepped into a 30-foot scorcher that no one was going to stop.

The Capitals added some window dressing in the 3rd period. Mike Knuble tipped in a Tom Poti set-up to make it 5-1.

Neuvirth finished with 35 saves tonight and looked very much in control, sharpening up as the game went along, although New Jerseys attack did not pose much of a threat.
After 5 consecutive losses at Verizon Center, the hometown fans went home happy. They even chanted We want Pittsburgh in the third period. They wont have to wait long to see Sidney Crosby and his Penguins.

Thursday night should be a real treat. If you cant be here that night, please do join us on Comcast Sportsnet for all the action.