Winning the Division

Well, it became official this evening: the Caps are the 2011 Southeast Division champs. In fact, they capped it off rather in style, winning their game while the Lightning were knocked off by the Sabres.

The game itself, for the Caps, wasn't that great, though. Carlson had a very up and down night. He committed a pretty dumb penalty early on, and Toronto converted on the ensuing power play (pretty soft goal, at that). He somewhat made up for it a bit later, as he managed to draw a hooking penalty while circling behind his own goal (with the Caps already on the power play). I've noticed that he's lately trying to join the rush even more than he had been previously. I'm not sure if that's a good thing.

Neuvy had an ok night; as I said, the first goal he allowed was a bit soft. But the second one was a failure by Schultz to tie up the stick of Lupul on a back-door cut; nothing Neuvy could have done. And that was it for Toronto scoring; Neuvy stopped everything else, saving his best stops for the third period. But Toronto didn't have a lot of chances; the Caps did a great job of dominating play for most of the game.

But Reimer had a great game for the Leafs, stymieing the Caps time and again. The only two goals he allowed were a one-timer slapshot at the top of the left circle from OV on the 5-on-3 power play, and a fluky point shot from Erskine that deflected in off a defenseman (Schenn, I believe).

So it ended up coming down to the shootout, where everyone seemed to want to go glove side-high. After three misses and four saves, Knuble finally potted one by going a little bit lower on the glove side.

The icing on the cake for the night is that Ottawa managed to pound the Flyers in the second and third periods, skating away with a 5-2 victory. So the Caps not only clinched the division, but also gained a little bit of space between themselves and Philly. Sweet.

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