Recap: Caps 8, Flyers 2

[AP Recap - GameCenter - Game Summary - Event Summary]

Memo to the NHL: The Caps aren't a one man team.

In the eight games that Alex Ovechkin has missed this year, the Caps are now 6-2-0 (both losses coming to New Jersey) and have averaged 4.63 goals per game and their power play has connected at a scorching 40.63% rate. For all the times AO has carried this team over the past handful of seasons, the team now is fully capable of picking him up every now and again, as they did when they killed off his majors against Buffalo and Carolina and as they now have in killing off his two-game suspension with a pair of blowout wins. Don't rush back Alex - your teammates have your back.

As for the specifics of tonight's game, it pretty much ceased to be one after Daniel Carcillo lost his mind and the Caps made his teammates pay for it. Pacifist Pete and the Flyers... a match made in, well, somewhere.

Ten more thoughts on the game:

  • Nicklas Backstrom was a wizard all night and ended up with a goal and four helpers. He now leads the team in scoring, has the Caps' last two five-point nights, nine points in his last three games, and 21 points in 11 career regular season games against Philly. So to that "not a one-man team" point, there's AO and Nick...
  • And Alexander Semin, who had a relatively quiet pair of helpers. An interesting note on Semin, he now has 22 points in his nine multi-point games and just one point in his 11 single-point or scoreless games (h/t  @nateewell). So on some nights he's a two-plus point per game guy and on other nights, he's nearly invisible. This is why he's the source of such frustration. Still, further to our "not a one man team" point, there's AO, Nick and Sasha...
  • And Mike Green, who now has as many points as Ovechkin after a two-goal, two-assist performance. He also has more points than any defenseman in hockey and 25% more points than any Canadian blueliner. So AO, Nick, Sasha and GreenLife52...
  • And Tomas Fleischmann, who lit the lamp twice and now has ten goals in just 18 games on the season, eight of which have come in games in which The Great Eight did not play. AO, Nick, Sasha, GreenLife52 and Flash...
  • And Brooks Laich, who also reached the ten-goal mark tonight after going seven games without a tally. His tenth goal in last year's 23-goal campaign came on December 28. AO, Nick, Sasha, GreenLife52, Flash and Laich...
  • And Eric Fehr, whose two assists run his career-best point streak to six games and who has 13 points in games since returning from injury. AO, Nick, Sasha, GreenLife52, Flash, Laich and Fehr...
  • And Brendan Morrison, who had on assist on the night and now has more points (23) in 29 games this season than he had in 62 games for Anaheim last year. AO, Nick, Sasha, GreenLife52, Flash, Laich, Fehr and BMo...
  • And David Steckel, who finally scored his first goal of the year (hey, it needed a bullet). AO, Nick, Sasha, GreenLife52, Flash, Laich, Fehr, BMo and Stecks...
  • And goaltending. The Caps have allowed just 2.11 goals against per game over their past nine games, and have a .930 save percentage over that stretch. AO, Nick, Sasha, GreenLife52, Flash, Laich, Fehr, BMo and a pair of capable netminders...
  • And yet, in an 8-2 rout, Alexandre Giroux ended the night with a minus rating.

And so it's off to Tampa where it might be Steve Downie's turn to pull a Mike Duco/Daniel Carcillo and where we might have to list two Bolts goalies as probable for the game. Enjoy tonight's win - games like this don't come along often... though there's no reason they shouldn't.

Game highlights:

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