Alex Semin needed only 5 minutes, 23 seconds to answer his critics.
In his first game back in the Capitals lineup after being made a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie season, Semin scored his fifth goal of the season in the Capitals 4-3 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets.
More importantly, in 18:25 of ice time, he did not take a penalty.
Asked if he was pleased with the way Semin responded to his benching, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said, Yes, very much. I thought he played a really good game.
Alec Ovechkin, who assisted on Semins goal, agreed.
I think he was in the game today, Ovechkin said. He used his size and his skill. You can see how he was a little bit hungry today.
Semin said he did not think he played much better Wednesday night than he did in his previous 18 games.
Of course I wanted to win and I wanted to play great, he said through a translator. But at the same time I dont think I changed anything. I just played my game. I went out there and played exactly like I did before the last game. Im just happy I didnt pick up a penalty.
Semin was benched for Monday nights 4-3 win against the Coyotes because he had gone seven straight games with a penalty and led the team with 14 minors.
Asked if he agreed with Boudreaus insistence on holding every player accountable this season -- Joel Ward was forced to sit out Wednesday nights game for missing a team meeting Semin towed the company line.
Everybody is the same, he said. Everybody is equal in this situation. It just so happened it was me who was sat. It can happen to absolutely anybody. Such is life, but I dont wish it on anyone to be scratched.