Penguins at Capitals - 02-06-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


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-Hey, guess where we are:

-No, not quite:

-Lots of friendlies around:

-And some not so friendlies:

-We found the root of Bruce Boudreau's problems:

-Some jersey sightings. Dale Hunter:

-Want a red Russian?

-Here's an ironic groups given the hoopla over head injuries. Sidney Crosby and James Harrison fans:

-Semyon Varlamov Hershey Bears:

-Darius Kasparaitis:

-Rod Langway:

-Dmitri Kristich:

-More cheeseheads:

-This one has combined the Capitals/Packers look:

-Solid blue throwback Penguins/Steelers hardhat combo:

-Chris Simon:

-Jersey Foul of the Day: Sigh:

-The Penguins are popular:

-Alex Kovalev:

-Dino Ciccarrelli:

-Do the Penguins and Maple Leafs have enough of a rivalry to allow this Mats Sundin fan?

-Plenty of Terrible Towels around:

-This Keith Primeau Hurricanes fan would've been the jersey of the day:

-But nothing can top this Amos Zereoue jersey:

-Warm ups:

-During warm ups, Lil' Wayne's "Green and Yellow" a playful spoof of Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow," is played:

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-The Penguins' starters are Pascal Dupuis, Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Their scratches are Eric Godard, Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin.

-The Capitals' starters are Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Jeff Schultz and Michal Neuvirth.

-Their scratches are D.J. King and Tyler Sloan.

-The national anthem:


19:11: Brooks Laich feeds a pass from the right of the Penguins' crease to John Carlson sneaking in from the right point. Carlson cranks a one-timer from the right circle but his stick break and the puck is wide on the near side.

17:19: After a turnover by Kris Letang in his own zone, Boyd Gordon flicks a wrister from the left point which trickles in on net. Fleury covers to freeze play.

16:50: Ovechkin motors into the offensive zone one-on-one against Zbynek Michalek. He rips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury eats it up. Paul Martin and Chimera exchange pleasantries afterwards.

13:00: This has been a really ho-hum game so far. The Capitals have had a few chances in deep but nothing we would call quality. The Penguins have entered the Capitals' zone a few times almost by accident. And the crowd here is dead.

11:09: Matt Cooke snaps off a wrister from deep on the right wing. Neuvirth scoops it up.

9:57: Letang chops a slapper from the top of the slot. It hits a leg in the slot and deflects away.

7:53: Karl Alzner cranks a slapper from above the left circle. It gets deflected JUUUUUUST wide on the far side.

5:18: John Erskine pounds a slapper from the left point. It hits something in front and hops up over the cage.

3:14: The pairing of Martin and Michalek is getting a ton of time against the Capitals' top line of Backstrom, Chimera and Ovechkin. Michalek is pretty much shadowing Ovechkin all over the ice the way Scott Stevens used to with Eric Lindros.

2:05: Mike Knuble fights off a check behind the Penguins' net and flicks a backhanded pass to the slot. Matt Hendricks is there. He crashes in and pushes it on net. Fleury hangs on for the save.

1:38: Off a turnover by Maxime Talbot in the defensive zone, the Capitals' strike. Mathieu Perreault takes a puck off Talbot in the left wing corner and deals it to Erskine at the left point. Erskine fires a slapper through traffic. Fleury makes the inital save but allows a rebound. Brooks Laich gets around Michalek in the slot and pushes the rebound under a scrambling Fleury. Nice dirty goal off a mistake by Talbot. Erskine and Perreault get assists. Capitals 1-0.

1:08: "FLERRRRR......EEEEE........ FLERRRR......EEEEE......"

0:00: End of period. The period ends Orpik blasting a slapper from the top of the slot. The puck gets up on him and strikes Mike Green in the right side of his head. There's a scramble for the rebound with Mike Rupp and Kunitz. The green light goes off. Green is on the ice on his side. There's blood on the ice. Athletic trainer Greg Smith rushes out to attend to him. Smith places a towel on the side of his head. Green eventually gets to his feet and skates to the bench with assistance from Smith. Ouch. Capitals 1, Penguins 0.


(This is actually from the second intermission. They have cookies in the press box and we were in a rush to get some and forgot to snap the first intermission picture. Apologies.)

-For the most part, that period was:

-Kind of boring. There was very little flow to the game and very few offensive chances. Not a ton to really get excited about.

-Plenty of players talk about how early starts throw them off. We're not sure if that's the case here, but both teams seem to be in a bit of a funk. This isn't the same Capitals-Penguins we're used to.

-Granted, the absence of Sidney Crosby, Malkin and Alexander Semin has something to do with that.

-The Capitals had a lot of offensive zone time, but they didn't really do a lot with it. Their only goal gave off a turnover by Talbot.

-The Capitals have an 8-5 lead in shots.

-Laich leads the game with three.

-Deryk Engelland (Huh?) leads the Penguins with two.

-Letang leads the game with 7:32 of ice time.

-Green leads the Capitals with 7:10.

-The Capitals have 9-5 lead in faceoffs (64 percent).

-Boyd Gordon is 2 for 2 (100 percent).

-Talbot is 2 for 3 (67 percent).

-Green leads the game with two blocked shots. We're assuming he wasn't crazy about the second one.


19:11: Neuvirth makes a save of some significance as a few cheers are heard. We'd tell you more but NBC couldn't be bothered to show a replay and instead opted to pan to a shot of  "Pierre" McGuire on the bench.

17:57: A break for the Penguins. Mike Knuble (Who else?) flicks a backhander from the crease into the cage as Fleury is floundering around. Fleury was floundering around because Matt Hendricks made contact with ihm in the crase after he was hit by Goligoski. The goal is waved off as Hendricks is called for goaltender interference. The Penguins get a power play. Jeffrey, Kunitz, Staal, Goligoski and Letang take the ice.

17:46: Kunitz pumps a slapper on net from the right point. Neuvirth knocks it down and covers.

16:02: So much for that gift. Letang fumbles a puck at the left point. Marcus Johansson picks it up, pushes it up ice and gains the offensive zone with Steckel. They cross up in the crease as Steckel drives to the net. Johansson flips a seemingly innocent backhander to the far side. Letang appears to have Fleury screened because Fleury was completely lost on the puck and never saw it as it flutter into the net by his blocker. Ick.The goal is unassisted. Letang could make a case for one. Another turnover leads to another goal. Capitals 2-0.

15:57: The Hendricks minor is killed. The Penguins did nothing with that chance.

15:10: "FLEERRRR....EEE....... FLERRRR....EEEEE......"

14:45: Things just get worse for the Penguins as Eric Tangradi is nabbed for hooking Laich.  Staal, Adams, Orpik and Letang take the ice.

14:15: Fleury simply ROBS Ovehckin on the back door Wow!

12:45: Tangradi's minor is killed. The Penguins dodged one there.

11:28: For some reason, John Erskine is in deep and skate in front of the crease with the puck uncontested but can't get a clean shot.

10:32: Rupp whips a shot on net from the left wing. Neuvirth eats it up. Afterward, he gives Carlson a cross check in the back of the head behind the net. He's sent right off to the penalty box. What a stupid play by Rupp. Michalek, Orpik Staal and Cooke take the ice.

10:03: Laich has a chance in tight on a loose puck bu Fleury holds it out.with his left leg. What a save. Fleury is keeping his team in this.

9:37: Talbot challenges the Capitals one on five. Amazingly, he actually creates a decent scoring chance. His little wrister from the right of the cage is denied.

8:32: Rupp's minor is killed. Big effort there by the Penguins.

7:55: Goligoski cranks a slapper from the left point. Neuvirth fights it off.

6:29: Ovechkin tries to wheel and deal in the offensive zone but Michalek taps the puck away. Nice poke check.

5:47: Talbot backhand a shot from deep on the right wing. Neuvirth punches it out to the crease. Chris Conner is there and backhands it back on net. Neuvirth turns that away too.

4:11: Green's return is officially listed as questionable.

2:13: Ovechkin takes a funny-looking tumble in front of his bench and lands on his backside.

1:36: Talbot is called for slashing Johansson. Staal, Cooke, Orpik and Michalek take the ice.

0:05: Backstrom chops a slapper from teh top of the right circle. Adams slides down and blocks it.

0:00: End of period. Capitals 2, Penguins 0.


-Things picked up a little bit that period. Especially after the second goal. Both teams took a few more c hances.

-The Penguins' lack of discipline hurt them quite a bit in this period. They didn't allow a goal, but they've spent a lot of time in their zone playing defense and killing penalties.

-Fleury has been fantastic. He's keeping his team in this.

-Ovechkin has been quiet.

-The Capitals have an 18-15 lead in shots.

-Laich leads the game with four.

-Goligoski, Engelland, Talbot and Kennedy each lead the Penguins with two.

-With Green out, Carlson leads the game with 19:02 of ice time.

-Michalek leads the Penguins with 14:34.

-The Capitals have a 19-14 lead in faceoffs (66 percent).

-Backstrom is 9 for 10 (90 percent).

-Talbot is 4 for 8 (50 percent).

-Adams, Alzner and Green each lead the game with two blocked shots.


20:00: The Capitals will have 24 seconds of power play time on fresh ice. Adams, Dupuis, Orpik and Michalek take the ice.

18:49: Martin whips a wrister on net from the left point. Neuvirth eats it up.

17:31: Michalek golfs a slapper from the right point. Hendricks rushes at him to block it.

16:37: Letang swats a one-time from the top of the slot. It hits a leg and bounces wide.

15:36: Hendricks whips a wrister from the left circle. Fleury knocks it down and covers with Jay Beagle hovering around.

13:47: Chimera flies up the left wing on Letang and flicks a backhander which Letang deflects wide.

12:12: Another big save by Fleury as he denies a one-timer by Knuble in the left circle off a loose puck.

12:08: Tim Wallace just made a big statement about what level of the Penguins organization he wants to be at. He asks David Steckel, the man who hit Sidney Crosby in the Winter Classic, to drop the gloves. Steckel takes him up. They lock up and mostly wrestle around. Both have a good grip on one another's shirt sleeves and won't let go. Wallace eventually shakes loose his right elbow pad and lands a few rabbit punches before both players fall to the ice. Big statement by Wallace.

10:43: Ovechkin skates away from pressure by Letang in the right wing corner in the Penguins zone and flicks a little pass to the crease. Chimera is there and forces it on net. Fleury holds it out.

9:44: Martin is in deep in the slot and flicks a backhander on net off a loose puck in the slot. Neuvirth fights it off.

9:36: Do or die here for the Penguins. Perreault is called for tripping Martin. Jeffrey, Goligoski, Letang, Kunitz and Staal take the ice.

8:24: Letang cranks a slapper from the right point. It hits a body in front and kicks back out to the neutral zone.

7:49: Tyler Kennedy sneaks his way up the right wing and jabs a pass to the slot. Martin is there and re-directs the puck wide on the near side.

7:36: The Perreault minor expires with little threat from the Penguins.

6:26: Orpik chops a slapper from the left point which gets deflected out of play.

5:42: Rupp glides around the back of the net, emerges to the left of it and flicks a backhander into a pile up in the crease. The puck bounces around before a Capitals player can flick it to the neutral zone.

3:42: Matt Cooke takes out Ovehkin with a low hit on the right wing boards in the Capitals zone and all heck breaks loose. Both Ovechkin and and Backstrom go after Cooke. All five skaters jump into the scrum. Officials break it up. Ovechkin skates to the bench hunched over in pain. Not a good hit by Cooke. That earns him two minutes in the box. Adams, Staal, Orpik and Michalek take teh ice. No Ovechkin.

2:57: Ovechkin lines up for a neutral zone faceoff.

1:42: Cooke returns to the ice to boos.

1:14: Fleury is puled for an extra attacker.

0:44: And Knuble gets his obligatory goal against the Penguins. . Letang fans on a one-timer at the right point. Hendricks pushes it up ice nd taps a pass to Knuble on the right wing. Knuble cranks a slapper into the cage for one of us:

-Hendricks gets the only assist. Capitals 3-0.

0:00: End of game. Capitals 3, Penguins 0.


-What a weird game. Plenty of star power was missing on both sides in Crosby, Malkin, Semin and Green. The early start seemed to deflated the crowd a bit. And it was a far more defensive game than we're used to seeing. This wasn't Penguins-Capitals. It was more like... Panthers-Islanders.

-Obviously the talk of the game was Matt Cooke's low hit on Alex Ovechkin:

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-Said Cooke: "I just checked the puck. He tried to cut back on me, and we clipped skates."

-Said Ovechkin: "I don’t know. I think he was frustrated, he wants to do something. It’s his game. It’s OK.

-Said Bruce Boudreau: "It’s Matt Cooke. Need we say more? It’s not it’s his first rodeo. He’s done it to everybody. Then he goes to the ref and says, ‘What did I do?” He damned well knows what he did. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s good at it and he knows how to do it and he knows how to pick this stuff. We as a league still buy into this like it’s an accidental thing."

-Said Backstrom: “I just think it’s Matt Cooke being Matt Cooke. I don’t think he’s trying to show something [about Steckel’s hit]. It happens in hockey. He got a penalty for it.”

-Said Hendricks: "It looked a bit dirty to me. But I’ve been on the same side on both of those hit. Sometimes a player is trying to jump out of the way and the guy is trying to finish his check. But, we all know type of player (Cooke) is."

-Getting back to the actual game, the Penguins made mistakes and the Capitals cashed in on a few. The Penguins didn't, and perhaps, couldn't given their injuries.

-The thing which stood out to us was the Penguins' lack of discipline. Having the league's best penalty kill is all find and dandy, but when you have issues offensively, spending a significant portion of the game killing penalties makes life so much tougher.

-Fleury was solid. Maybe you could put the first goal on him, but he played well enough to win. And, frankly, this game could've been worse were it not for his efforts. The Capitals had some quality chances in tight but Fleury wouldn't allow them to score.

-It's not an excuse, but the Penguins never seem to be up for early starts. This was no different. They had sloppy passes, plenty of miscommunication and just looked ragged overall.

-Mike Green, who left in the first period after taking a slap shot to he head, is considered day to day. It was actually his ear which was bleeding and not his head.

-The Capitals led in shots, 24-22.

-Backstrom and Laich each led the game with four.

-Martin, Rupp and Kennedy each led the Penguins with three.

-Carlson led the game with 27:46.

-Letang led the Penguins with 22:17.

-The Capitals controlled faceoffs, 32-17 (65 percent).

-Backstrom was 14 for 17 (82 percent).

-Jeffrey was 6 for 10 (38 percent).

-Martin, Dupuis, Backstrom and Hendrick each led the game with three blocked shots.

-The Capitals got their first regular season shutout against the Penguins since Don Beaupre made 29 saves in an 8-0 win Oct. 29, 1991. Yeesh.

-Game summary.

-Event summary.

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