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Recap: Caps 6, Rangers 5

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

Never a doubt that the streak would continue...right?

There have been games during this stretch that the Capitals have dominated by overpowering with offense and stifling with defense. There have been games where the goaltender stole a win, or the captain willed a win. Tonight involved a little of everything, both good and bad, and included a lesson we all know by now - stay out of the damn box.

Ten more notes on the game:

  • It may not have been the prettiest game overall, but there was some pretty to be found - and of course it came from #8. Alex Ovechkin's goal capping off a second period that could only be described as frantic was a thing of beauty. Left-handed, one hand on the stick, defender draped all over him and one of the best in the League between the pipes, Ovechkin practically floated the puck over Henrik Lundqvist to pick up his 500th career point. That'll do, Ovie. That'll do.
  • Not to be outdone, Nicklas Backstrom tied his career high with a five-point night. His offensive explosion included a slapper from the slot that was positively Ovechkin-esque, right down to being the game-winner.
  • And of course, no night would be complete these days without a Mike Knuble tally. This time, while it did involve going to the net, it was less of a dirty goal and more a symptom of playing alongside two of the best in the NHL. Knuble's goal finished off an absolutely ridiculous passing play that made just about everyone in blue look downright helpless.
  • Tom Poti was the subject of discussion earlier today, and he was once again active - for better and for worse. In almost 27 minutes of ice time he fired three shots on net, had three blocked shots and the all-important game-tying goal. He also failed to take away the backdoor play on more than one occasion while killing penalties, leaving Theodore helpless. 
  • Of all the games on the docket these last two weeks, raise your hand if you thought the Rangers would be the only team to almost hang with the Caps offensively. Of course, they've now scored their allotment for the month, but still...
  • So was it a rough night for special teams...or a great one? For those of you keeping track at home, that was a grand total of fifteen penalties taken between the Caps and Rangers (um, ouch) resulting in seven power play goals combined (um, double ouch). There were some pretty dumb infractions in there, too. Yeah, let's go ahead and go with rough night.
  • How about our big goal-scorer, Boyd Gordon? He picked up his second goal in two games after holding the longest goal-scoring drought on the roster (which admittedly was only about ten games). The nice thing was that his father was able to see them both. That's it, someone get Mr. Gordon a season ticket.
  • It would be easy to look at the score and assume that neither goalie played well. It's actually not true despite the 11 goals scored - Jose Theodore faced an onslaught in the first , turning away 16 of the 18 shots he faced in just the opening frame and keeping the game remarkably close again while his team caught up. And Lundqvist was Lundqvist, making a number of big saves the way he seems to do so well.
  • Every team has those killers, guys who seem to feast on them whenever they meet. The trade for Olli Jokinen may not have been an impressive move by many standards, it did bring a well-known Cap-killer to the Rangers. Over the course of their careers, he and fellow Cap-killer Vinny Prospal have combined for 67 points in 106 games against Washington. They added to their totals tonight, with Jokinen picking up a goal and an assist while Prospal went two and two.
  • Did Sean Avery play tonight? Oh, right - that was him being pushed on his ass by Brooks Laich. My mistake.
Okay, so it wasn't the prettiest game of the season. It certainly isn't going to win any penalty-killing or defensive awards, and it probably won't be one most of us would line up to buy on DVD. But it's a win, two points that always matter as they hang on to top spot in the NHL - and yet another win to add to the ever growing streak in which the Caps seem downright unbeatable.

At least not by the other team.

Game highlights: