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Sports Then and Now

Caps Follow-up President’s Trophy with a Win

Posted on April 06, 2010 by Angie Lewis

After two Caps goals that went under review, the final game-winning goal in overtime was an undisputed one, putting Washington victorious with a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.

From The Washington Post

From The Washington Post

This would be a game where one team is just waiting for the playoffs, and the other is desperately fighting for the playoffs: The Capitals, one day removed from winning their first-ever President’s Trophy played the Bruins, who came in seeded seventh in the East, but only two points ahead of the ninth-placed New York Rangers.

Throughout the entire first period, the Capitals seemed to take control of the game. Washington scored seven minutes in with a goal from Backstrom that went under a very long  video review to see if the puck completely crossed the goal line. After the goal was deemed legal, the Caps continued to buzz around the Bruins net.

Not only was their offense clicking, but the Capitals were also able to protect their zone well. With 12 minutes remaining, the Bruins entered the Capitals’ zone and flurried around Jose Theodore. However, Theodore was able to pull off a stacked pad save on a sequence of shots, or a “Johnny Power-double stack” save as head coach Bruce Boudreau called it.

“They came charging the net,” Theodore said about the save. “I was just able to pretty much react.”

Along with the solid play of Theodore, the Capitals defense cleared the puck fairly quickly.

That is, until the final minute in the first period, where Boston was able to get multiple shots on goal, putting the pressure back on Theodore. With 1.6 seconds remaining, the Bruins tipped the puck off the faceoff to tie the game 1-1 going into the intermission.

Boston came out with the momentum in the second period and scored at 7:55 on Patrice Bergeron’s 19th goal of the season. The Bruins remained in control, but the Capitals returned the favor against Boston when Mike Knuble scored late in the second period with just under 30 seconds to go. This goal was also under review to see whether Knuble kicked it in, but in much shorter time than the first one, the goal stood.

The third period was more neutral. The two teams traded shots and momentum shifts throughout the frame, but it all evened out, reflected in the stagnant play by both teams and a 2-2 tie to end regulation. The Caps recieved a late tripping call on Brooks Laich, but they maintained their surprisingly solid penalty kill, now going for a perfect 9-for-9 in the past three games.

In overtime, the Capitals seemed to have the upper-hand in momentum and as a result, were able to draw a penalty 24 seconds into the extra frame. Washington took advantage of their opportunity, as Laich made up for his risky penalty and scored the game winning power play goal 20 seconds later. The Capitals are now 11-12 in overtime games this season.

The Bruins are now only one point ahead of the eighth seeded Philadelphia Flyers, while the Capitals increase their league-leading points total to 116.

Washington will play again tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road. The game is set to start at 7:30 p.m. The Capitals will also play the Bruins again on Sunday on NBC.

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