Sunday, March 7 2010 12:28 am
By Joe Beninati
When the Caps and Rangers met a month ago in Manhattan it turned out to be a 6-5 free for all in favor of Washington. Tonight's outing was the polar opposite but in the end it brought back another two points in the standings.
In many ways, this 2-0 victory was an example of how this team will have to battle come playoff time. Games played in April, May and June are rarely going to be wide open slugfests. The Capitals had the proper mindset and went to work on grinding the Rangers into submission. Blessed with the punch of early power play time, DC converted a two man advantage goal thanks to Eric Fehr.
The tally came off the rush and a nice pass from Tomas Fleischmann, Fehr had to elevate the puck quickly to beat Ranger goalie, Alex Auld, and his shot was placed just underneath the cross bar.
As it turned out, that would be the only goal Jose Theodore would need. The veteran netminder grabbed his first shut out of the year frustrating the Rangers time after time. His lateral movement was exceptional and his rebound control was very sure handed.
As a team, the Capitals kept Marian Gaborik under wraps very well. The Rangers speedster had very little running room, he and his teammates were tentative at times and that played right into Washington's hands. Newcomer Eric Belanger put himself on the score sheet after a pretty combination passing play from Alex Semin and Brooks Laich. Both Belanger and Joe Corvo appeared to have settled down in this one compared to their Caps debut Thursday.
The team has won three straight without much fanfare from Alex Ovechkin. He had three quality scoring chances in the third period this evening, which leads me to think he'll get on the board Monday against Dallas. This was a very workman like performance tonight, steady and sound all the way around. Sure hope you'll tune into Versus on Monday for a date with the Stars.