Alexander Semin, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom put on a clinic last night as the Capitals pounded Carolina, 5-1. Semin had a part in every Washington goal, scoring two and assisting on three, as he took over the NHL's scoring lead from Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, in what is sure to be an exciting scoring race all season.
Ovechkin scored his fourth goal of the season, while Backstrom finally ended his season-long drought, picking up his first tally of the year. Between them, the trio combined for 12 points and a +12 on the night, as they tortured Carolina Goalie Michael Leighton.
The Capitals Blog Japers' Rink offers a nice breakdown of the game, including how this Capitals team can still get better, and a less-than-flattering performance by the oldest Staal brother, Eric.
I don't think I've ever seen a "superstar" have a worse period than Eric Staal did in the first. He botched tap-ins on an extended 5-on-3, lost a key defensive zone draw that led to the Caps' second goal, and just flat out stunk the building up. It's probably a different game if he has a better opening stanza.
... After 12 consecutive periods where he refused to surrender a goal, the brick wall that is Roberto Luongo finally cracked in the third period last night when he allowed a power play goal to Colorado's Paul Stastny, tying the game at one. It was starting to look as if Luongo would never give up a goal again. Still, the shutout streak was long enough -- 242 minutes and 36 seconds -- to set a new Canucks franchise record. So, he's got that going for him.
Unfortunately for Luongo and the Canucks, the Avalanche took the game in a shootout, 2-1, thanks to shootout goals from Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos.
... After taking a day off (via Puck Daddy)this week because, well, he just needed a break, Barry Melrose saw his team drop another one, this time in 4-0 fashion to cross-state rival Florida. Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times called it a "sad performance" and that the Lightning should be "ashamed of that performance."
... Since the New Jersey nightmare that is the injury to goaltender Martin Broduer, the Devils have gone 1-4, with the only win being a shootout win against Tampa Bay. They fell to the Rangers, 5-2, last night.
In fairness to Kevin Weekes and Scott Clemmensen, the Devils have only scored four goals in the four losses. That's not going to cut it even with Broduer in net.
Yesterday's Newsmakers in the NHL: Capitals Young Stars Dominate originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Thu, 13 Nov 2008 10:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.