Wednesday, March 3, 2010 11:29pm
By Joe Beninati
It wasn't the most stylish game you'll ever see, but it was effective for Washington. And anytime they bring a win back from Buffalo it's cause for celebration. You realize the Caps have won just 38 of 132 meetings anywhere against the Sabres. They earned the decision tonight for a number of reasons.Let's start with Jose Theodore, who wasn't overworked by any means, but was solid when he needed to be. His third period save on Chris Butler was huge and helped preserve the lead in a tight game.
Defensively the team was in good position most of the night in front of Theodore. It was obvious that the boys took Bruce Boudreau's message to heart. The one that said they need to be sound defensively and that they can't just rely on being the best offensive team in the league.Jeff Schultz and Mike Green were really good together tonight. Schultz helped out with a pair of assists and Green cashed in the game winner with a well-timed joining of the rush. Green just has the knack for turning innocent looking plays into quality chances and he beat Ryan Miller in the third period.Miller was his usual stingy self. He had no chance on Jason Chimera's double deflection and the Green put away was unstoppable. Miller was especially good this morning addressing the Buffalo media after his Olympic efforts. He's a very likeable guy and Sabre fans are fortunate to have him.The Caps added some reinforcements today at the trade deadline. In Scott Walker they get a grizzled vet, who when healthy plays the game with a great amount of jam. Eric Belanger will add depth and speed down the middle. He's a better offensive player than most people think and his defensive responsibility is unquestioned.
Joe Corvo is a colorful character, who marches to the beat of his own drum. But he has very good offensive instincts, is built like a tank and when focused can be physical in his own zone. Caps fans know Milan Jurcina has great size. It will be a while until we see him on the ice as an Olympic injury has him on the shelf for a while.Get used to seeing the Caps at home. The first of five straight at Verizon Center is on CSN in HD Thursday night.