Neither team in tonight's Caps game was exactly riding a wave. The Caps were one game removed from their eight-game losing streak, while the Devils were coming off an absolute beating at the hands of the Thrashers. So it was hard to guess what the game would look like.
It didn't help, from the Caps perspective, that one of the best players from the last game, Eric Fehr, was at home to deal with a death in the family. Our condolences, Eric.
But on the plus side, the Russian enigma, Sasha Minor, was coming back from a "lower body injury". (Incidentally, I really hate those uselessly-vague injury statements.)
The first period was pretty closely contested. Andrew Gordon got the Caps on the board with his first career goal off a very nice pass from MarJo. While the Caps looked good throughout the period, that was the only puck to make it past Brodeur.
The second looked for quite a while like it would be the same. The Devils scored first, on the power play to knot things back up. But then the Caps came roaring back, with goals from Beagle, Chimera, and Carlson.
The Chimera goal was a particularly nice one; he got a breakaway, drew a hooking call, and managed to plant the puck under the crossbar before hitting the ice. Man, if he could display hands like that with regularity, he'd be absolutely lethal.
By that point, the game was basically over. Knuble managed to pot another goal in the third to round out the scoring, but the outcome was never seriously in doubt.
To break things down a bit, MarJo had a fabulous game. He looked ready to be the long-term second center already (not that I think he is ready, but he did look it). Matty P also looked very good, despite not factoring into the scoring (Knuble's goal was scored on a deflection; Matty was right behind him, ready to deflect also, on that play). He was actually pretty effective along the boards tonight, as well.
Carlson also looked very good. He had an assist to go with the aforementioned goal, and is looking like a top-pairing defenseman already. With another year of seasoning, he'll be our second-best defenseman. Actually, he's damned close to it already.
The top line looked pretty good, but still isn't clicking. I hope they get it together soon, because we definitely need the scoring.
Next up? We finally get our first run-in with the Penguins for the season. The timing seems pretty good for the Caps, and I'm looking forward to it. Maybe this will give OV the motivation to break out of his slump this season.