Capitals-Devils instant analysis

Capitals-Devils instant analysis
January 25, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Capitals-Devils highlights

Game in a nutshell: After giving up a pair of goals and racking up numerous trips to the sin bin in the first two periods, it appeared as though the Capitals were well on their way to an 0-4-0 record. Late in the third however, their fortunes turned as the Caps were awarded six power play opportunities, including a 5-3 that put Washington on the board when Joel Ward sent a perfect feed across the crease to Mike Ribeiro, who sent it home for his first goal of the season. With under three minutes to go Mike Green tied things on a snapshot from the right point. The Caps grabbed their first point of the season by forcing overtime and were 21 seconds away from a shootout when Ilya Kovalchuk received the puck in the corner and hammered it through a tight window for the game-winner.

Key Performance: Michal Neuvirth looked strong Friday night as the Czech netminder was once again left hung out to dry several times by his defense. Neuvirth stopped 32 of 35 shots to keep the Devils within reach. Despite several one-on-one opportunities Neuvirth defended the net brilliantly, stoning Patrik Elias, Jacob Josefson and Marek Zidlicky on breakaways. 

On the bright side: The Capitals, for the first time this season, were able to dig themselves out of a two-goal deficit late in the third period to force overtime and pick up their first point of the season. 

Everyday he's shuffling: Joey Crabb and Jay Beagle joined Alex Ovechkin, who shifted back to his native left wing locale, on the top line. Marcus Johansson moved back to center with Eric Fehr, making his Capitals debut, and Matt Hendricks at his flanks. John Erskine also made his season debut paired with John Carlson.

Next Up: The Capitals will welcome the Buffalo Sabres to their building at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Sabres are 2-2-0 after their 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes Friday night.