Don’t you love it when a good plan comes together? Against a superior skilled team, but one playing its third road game in four nights, the Caps played just the kind of game they had to have to earn two points. It would be hard to find fault with the game (ok, we’ll mention the 42 shots against here, and then we’ll leave it alone). One could almost go down the lineup and find something good to say about everyone . . .
Brian Pothier had more than 30 minutes of ice time in which he contributed four blocked shots and two hits . . .
John Erskine played a physical presence against a club that plainly doesn’t have much desire for confronting one . . .
Jamie Heward returned from spending one game nursing a gash on his arm and was +2 . . .
Alexander Ovechkin had the game winner on a sneaky shot that handcuffed Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist . . .
Dainius Zubrus won 17 of 25 draws and had the primary assist on the game winner . . .
Matt Bradley was credited with two hits (it could have been more) . . .
Boyd Gordon broke his personal 71-game schneid by pilfering the puck from Sandis Ozolinsh and whacking it past Lundqvist on the second try – winning nine of 11 draws came in handy, too, not to mention getting more PK time than any other forward . . .
Brian Sutherby won five of eight draws and as being mic’ed up for the game indicates, is growing into quite the leader on the ice and on the bench . . .
Chris Clark spent the night fishing the puck out of hard places and outworking his Ranger counterparts . . .
Matt Pettinger gave the club a goal from somewhere other than the top line on a fine move – a goal scorer’s move – to use Marek Malik as a screen – and led the team in shots . . .
Shaone Morrisonn showed that last year’s efforts against Jaromir Jagr were no fluke, shadowing the big rig all over the offensive zone and holding him to three inconsequential shots . . .
Ben Clymer contributed a couple of hits and a takeaway, and jumped in when a Ranger took a run at Brian Sutherby’s legs . . .
Alexander Semin had a few fine chances early and a whopping 11:45 of power play time . . .
Jakub Klepis, although his ice time was diminished in the last two periods, created some chances in the first . . .
Tomas Fleischmann showed some offensive jump early (although he suffered similar ice time problems as the game wore on) . . .
Steve Eminger had a strong game paired with John Erskine . . .
Mike Green was a +2 on the evening . . .
Donald Brashear had his first kerfuffle of the season, giving Colton Orr a solid thumping, and contributing a lot of energy in limited ice time . . .
And Olaf Kolzig was simply amazing, turning away 41 of 42 shots (36 of 37 in the last two periods) . . .
As for the keys we talked about yesterday . . .
-- Jump on the Rangers early: The Caps outshot the Rangers 17-5 in the first to put the visitors back on their heels.
-- Stay out of the box: The Rangers had four advantages, scoring only on a power play late when Lundqvist was pulled to make it a 6-on-4.
-- Get some production out of another line: Matt Pettinger had what was the game-clinching goal in the third.
-- Play feisty: Donald Brashear set the tone inside of three minutes into the game with his beatdown (literally) of
It was a team effort all around, just the kind of effort the boys needed after the problems they had in