The Atlanta Thrashers played right to the strength of the Washington Capitals Thursday night. The Capitals came the game wielding the NHL’s third best power play…a very impressive 23.8% efficient. The visiting Thrashers handed the Caps eight man advantage situation and Washington made them pay on three of them.
Here’s a thought…whenever the you’re are playing a team that has such a strong power play…don’t take so many dad-gum penalties! Just sayin’…
Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich both notch goals for the Caps as Thrashers sat in the box, giving their team an early 2-0 lead before Kaptain Kovalchuk scored a power play goal of his own before the break. The Peever tied the game at the 3:56 mark of the second period, taking a nifty outlet pass from Nic Havelid.
However, Mike Green scored the third power play goal for Washington with 7:35 left before the second intermission to give the Capitals a lead they would not relinquish.
Trailing 4-2 late in the game, Todd White took a feed from Kovy and buried a shot for a short handed goal with 1:57 remaining on the clock… It was the Thrashers third shorty in two consecutive games. Whitey is now riding a six game scoring streak…netting a total of seven in that time.
Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves on 40 shots on goal…including 17 of 18 in the second period alone. Atlanta got 26 shots away on Michal Neuvirth who won his second game of the season, and his career, in as many starts. On the 14th of February he helped the Caps beat Tampa Bay 5-1…stopping 31 of 32 shots.
For the night, Atlanta took 21 minutes worth of penalties. Eric Perrin led the way with 6 of them. His slashing penalty in the first came as Semin was in the process of scoring the Caps first power play goal. While sitting in the sin-bin, Laich netted their second. Perrin also a boarding call in the second period and an interference penalty in the third.
Green’s goal came as Zach Bogosian sat out for hooking and White scored the shorty while Erik Christensen sat in the box after also being whistled for interfering with a Washinton skater.
Eric Boulton collected five penalty minutes for going at it with Donald Brashear shortly after the first intermission. Bolts now has 131 penalty minutes for the season.
Mike Green’s goal in the second was his 16th power play tally of the season. It tied a Washington Capitals record for most goals scored on the man advantage by a defenseman. Green’s feat equaled that of Scott Stevens, who netted 16 power play goals for the Caps in the 1984′-’85 season. When you’re matching records by a player of Stevens’ stature… you are doing pretty good for yourself indeed.
After being out since New Jersey’s win against Atlanta back on November 1, Marty Brodeur returned to the Devils’ lineup and promptly shutout the Colorado Avalanche 4-0, stopping all 24 shots he faced. Marty the Magnificent as now layed 99 goose eggs on the ice, four shy of Terry Sawchuck’s regular-season mark of 103.
The win also gave Brodeur career win number 545 and pulled him to within six victories of Patrick Roy’s NHL record.
Not a bad way to come back from elbow surgery, eh?
The loss in D.C. dropped the Thrashers’ record in the month of February to 5-5-1. With one more game remaining before we enter into March…Saturday versus Carolina…Atlanta still has a chance to obtain their first winning record in a single month this season.
The Thrashers’ record month by month so far:
October: 2-6-2 for 6 points
November: 6-6-1 for 13 points
December: 4-9-2 for 10 points
January: 5-8-0 for 10 points
February: 5-5-1 for 11 points, (1 game remaining)