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'Canes 4, Caps 3 (OT)

I didn't get a chance to listen to much of today's 4-3 loss to Carolina, but considering that the Caps sent only two of their putative top six forwards (Chris Clark and Nicklas Backstrom) to Raleigh to face a 'Canes team that dressed Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Justin Williams and Cory Stillman (among others), I'd say that an overtime loss in which Brent Johnson didn't give up a goal in his two periods of work probably indicates a pretty good effort from the under-manned visitors.

Check out Corey and Tarik (including a great quote from Karl Alzner) for more, but here are some quick notes from a glance at the score sheet:
  • Backstrom scored in the first period of his first game in an NHL sweater. That's got to help his confidence and take off a bit of pressure going forward. One thing to keep an eye on, however, is that he was only able to win 4 of the 9 faceoffs he took.
  • Johnson saved all 12 shots he saw through two periods, and from the sound of it, some of them were toughies.
  • Dean Arsene failed his physical, but played in Sunday's game. Interesting. [Update: #47 was Alzner, not Arsene, as NHL.com incorrectly had].
  • Mike Green tied for the team lead with four shots on goal (and one fluke shot in goal), and his 25:03 of ice time led all skaters (on both teams). He finished +1 for the day, but was in the box when the OT game-winner was scored.
  • Chris Bourque's four hits tied Matt Pettinger for the team lead, and C-Bo added a helper as well - gotta like that.
  • Those Caps uniforms look pretty sharp to me.
  • Stephen Werner Francois Bouchard (same deal as above - NHL.com had the roster wrong) got only 10 shifts and seven minutes of ice time - I'm not sure whether he even made it 'til the final buzzer before getting cut.
  • Boyd Gordon won 16 of his 30 draws (53%), including 15 of 25 (60%) against Staal and Trevor Letowski. Dave Steckel was also big in the dot, winning 9 of his 16 faceoffs (56%).
  • Ben Clymer dropped the gloves in his first preseason game against some clown named Nicolas Blanchard - I guess Clymes knows what he's going to have to do to get fourth-line ice time.
Photo: AP