Caps Today and Game Notes for vs. Florida

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The Punisher
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Caps Today and Game Notes for vs. Florida

Postby Bob 0119 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:24 am

Today’s Storyline

Life of Brian –Defenseman Brian Pothier, who had one assist in his first 13 games, has three goals and four assists in his last 12. He is +10 in that time. Pothier’s +11 in November matched Atlanta ’s Tobias Enstrom for the NHL lead among defensemen. Two of Pothier’s best games this season have come against the Florida Panthers, who the Capitals host tonight. Pothier had a goal, two assists and a +3 rating in the Nov. 6 game at Florida and had an assist and a +3 rating at home on Nov. 7 against the Panthers. He has two goals and 11 assists in 22 career games against the Southeast Division foe. His 13 career points against Florida are the second most he has tallied versus any opponent (he has 16 points in 27 games against Tampa Bay ).


Starts with one –Washington has only trailed after the first period twice this year, both against the New York Islanders and both times the Capitals came back to win. The Capitals have outscored their opponents 34-13 in the first period; they lead the league in goals in the first period and are tied for second in the fewest allowed. Caps goaltenders have a .951 save percentage in the first period.

Washington has scored at least one goal in the first period of 23 of their 27 games, including eight straight (12-4 in that time). Washington has scored first in 20 of 27 games this year. In the rare occasions that the Capitals have allowed the first goal they are 5-0-2.


Minus 8 –The Capitals and Panthers meet for the third time this season and each time Florida has avoided facing Alex Ovechkin, who is serving the first game of a two-game NHL suspension. The Capitals are 4-1-1 without Ovechkin this season, with both losses coming to New Jersey (5-4-1 without him in his career).

Fehr warning –Eric Fehr finished November as the Capitals’ leading goal scorer in the month with six and boasting a three-game goalscoring streak –tied for the longest on the team this year and one game shy of the best of his career. Fehr’s seven goals on the year (17 GP) are more than half of his total from last season (12 in 61 GP). In 11 games since returning from injury Fehr has posted six goals and four assists with a +7 rating. He has only had one minus game all season.

Southeast streak – Washington is 5-0-0 against the Southeast Division, the only team in the NHL with a perfect record against its own division.

Stone wall –Between Semyon Varlamov (4 GP) and Jose Theodore (1 GP), the Capitals have had excellent goaltending of late. In the last five games the two have combined for a 3-0-2 record, a 1.94 goals-against average on 10 goals against and a .939 save percentage. Only four teams –the Capitals, Atlanta , Boston and Detroit –have two goaltenders with more than five wins on the season.

Back on track –Nicklas Backstrom recorded his second two-goal game and sixth multiple-point game of the season Monday night at Carolina , with a hand in all three Capitals goals in a 3-2 win. It was Backstrom’s first multiple-point game since Nov. 7 vs. Florida and his first goal since Nov. 1.
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