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Wednesday Roundup/Caps 3, 'Canes 2 (OT)

[AP Recap - Scoresheet - Super Stats]

I've been to the Louvre. I've been to the Grand Canyon at sunset. I've even sat through an entire Jessica Alba movie. So you can believe me when I tell you that the new HD Scoreboard at the Verizon Center is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life (Capital Fanatic has a nice picture of it, but pictures can't do it justice - it's something you need to see in person).

Of course, beneath that glorious manvention they played a little hockey last night, so here's a quick take on some of what went down:
  • Another game, another third period lead blown. First teams learn how to get leads, then they learn how to keep 'em. It's not always an easy process, but it is a necessary one - and I've got no complaints on how this tilt wound up.
  • Olie Kolzig was good and occassionally lucky - and any goaltender will tell you need both to win.
  • Mike Green looked like he belongs, Jeff Schultz looked like he belongs (in Hershey) and Steve Eminger looked like it was his first preseason game (for more on Emmy, read Tarik's article in today's WaPo).
  • More on Green, per Vogs: "With two goals in the four preseason games to date, Green has equaled his total from 70 NHL games last season. His six preseason points represent half of the dozen he totaled during the 2006-07 regular season." Green was a mixed bag again last night - a couple of penalties to go with his gorgeous goal and inspired OT rush down the right side - but that's to be expected from a 21-year-old blueliner. In my opinion, he deserves to make this team.
  • As a team, the Caps won 53% of the night's faceoffs, which is always good against a team that has Rod Brind'Amour taking most of its draws (and sits Eric Staal). Dave Steckel won 12 of his 17 faceoffs (71%).
  • Last night was not Michael Nylander's best game - he looked disinterested at times, had three giveaways, took a bad penalty and was an abysmal 1-for-8 in the faceoff circle. Chalk it up to a veteran who's tired of preseason games, perhaps?
  • Despite playing only 10 minutes, Brooks Laich tied for the team lead in hits (3) and won five of his six faceoffs, but also choked on a golden opportunity in the offensive zone. He is still very much on the bubble to make this team.
  • Tomas Fleischmann's pass on the Green goal was a beauty.
  • You can see in his game just how much more comfortable Brian Pothier is in his role this year.
  • Stop me if you've heard this one - Alex Semin was at times dazzling and at other times uninspired (sometimes on the same shift).
  • Despite his OT game-winner, Nicklas Backstrom had a pretty weak game - perhaps that explains the look on his face below, mere seconds after sending everyone home happy. Vogs quotes the kid as saying "It was very fun to score in overtime but it was the only right thing I do today." I tend to agree.