Against Buffalo on Monday night, the Caps' power play - to which the team had just that morning turned its attention for the first time this fall - struggled. Against Chicago on Wednesday night? Not so much. The Caps power play struck three times in the game's first 28 minutes, with each member of the presumed first line (Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble) potting one, and the route was on.
Ten notes on the game:
- Every Capital skater with the exception of Matheiu Perreault and Shaone Morrisonn had at least one shot on goal, and everyone but the fourth line of Andrew Gordon, Kyle Wilson and Oskar Osala and the top D-pairing of Mo and Mike Green was at least plus-one on the night.
- Semyon Varlamov was solid in goal, never moreso than during a third period penalty kill on which he made two outstanding stops. All in all, he faced 28 shots and stopped all 13 that came his way during that final stanza.
- Three point nights for Ovechkin, Knuble, Backstrom and Alexander Semin. Just like they drew it up (well, except for the cuteness overload that crept in).
- Boyd Gordon won 14 of the 19 draws he took (73.7%), including all six of the faceoffs he took against Jonathan Toews in the defensive zone, where he was 8-for-10 on the night. That right there is offense denied, plain and simple.
Tom Poti took three penalties and was in the box for both 'Hawks goals. When he takes penalties (he only took 14 all last season), it's a double-whammy of sorts in that the penalty kill desperately needs him
- Related to that point, Green was on the ice for both goals against for the second consecutive game, meaning that the Caps haven't given up a goal with Mike Green off the ice in 158:54 of game time. Noodle that one for a minute.
Tyler Sloan blocked four shots and scored a goal. Is he making the decision for Bruce Boudreau more difficult or easier at this point?
- After his team's two games against Patrick Kane in the past few days, Semin may want to reasses his love of 20 Cent.
- Perreault can play at the NHL level, but his 40% faceoff percentage so far may indicate that it won't be at center.
- Ovechkin skated only 16 shifts and a miniscule 16:42 of ice time. How Boudreau kept him from jumping off the bench to play more is probably the most underrated performance of the night.
Off to New York for a Thursday evening tilt with the Rangers, whom we last saw shaking hands and disappearing into a Verizon Center tunnel en route to the golf course. Oh, and perhaps we'll see old friend Donald Brashear. Maybe that's why Brandon Sugden's still in town...