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Sharks de-cap the Caps!

Posted By Dennis Patchett On Feb 8 2011 @ 4:46 pm In Washington Capitals | 2 Comments

The Washington Capitals continue their fine play, post the All-star break.  The Caps are coming off a 3-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves for his second career shutout, in their last game against Pittsburgh.  Brooks Laich scored in the first period, Marcus Johansson made it a 2 goal lead (short handed) and Mike Knuble scored and empty-netter in the third. Laich is riding a two game goal streak.  The Caps pulled within three points of the Lightning in the Southeast Division.

Tonight the Caps played the San Jose Sharks.  The Sharks are coming off a 2-0 visctory in Boston, where Antti Niemi had a 26 save shutout.

Niemi was the story of the night.  He had his second consecutive shutout, blanking the Caps 2-0.  Niemi had 25 saves in the shutout.  Michal Neuvirth made 34 saves to keep the Caps in it, but the rookie goaltender yielded goals on the final two shots of the night.  Neuvirth was solid all night.  He and the Capitals seemed to keep the potent Sharks outside the perimeter all night long.  “In the end, he played good for 51 minutes,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But if you want to be a great goalie in this League, when the game is on the line, you have to be the one to stop those. I thought those goals were not of the variety that should have beaten him, but at the same time I thought he kept us in for the first period.”  Neuvirth added : “I was seeing the puck pretty well. They got a little bit lucky on that first goal. It kind of surprised me.”

A potential Caps goal was not allowed in the first period.   Alexander Semin,  sniped a shot from the right circle that squirted through Niemi and settled near the goal.  One of the officials blew the whistle thinking Niemi had the puck, but Mathieu Perreault actually knocked it in.  The play was not review-able, as the whistle meant that the play could not be reviewed.

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