Ottawa 3, Washington 5; Binghamton 0, Wilkes-Barre 1

Washington continued their mastery over Ottawa in a game the Sens probably deserved to lose.  The Caps dominated the first period, but allowed the Sens to take an early third period lead.  Paul MacLean stuck with combinations that were not working a bit longer than I would have liked (first line and powerplay configuration), although he made a good switch defensively putting the fourth line against Ovechkin.  Speaking of the Great Eight, one wonders if he’ll face any discipline for spearing Chris Neil (I doubt it, but the league has suspended him before).  For the box score go here link.  Here are the goals:
1. Washington, Halpern
Greening
loses his man and Brian Lee doesn’t pick him up as Halpern cashes in on a juicy rebound
2. Condra (Karlsson, Smith)
Great play by Condra to cash in on Karlsson‘s deflected shot
3. Foligno (Gonchar)
At the end of a 5-on-3 Foligno walks around the Caps and cashes in with a one-handed back-hand
4. Washington, Backstrom (pp)
Phillips inexplicably goes down as Brooks Laich skates wide, leaving Backstrom open (Smith stopped skating on the back check just as the pass occurred)
5. Washington, Ovechkin
Anderson bites on the faked slapshot and is beat five-hole on a shot he could have had
6. Washington, Brouwer
Rundblad gets caught watching the puck and doesn’t have Brouwer‘s stick tied up as he cashes in on a pass from the corner
7. Michalek (Greening) (pp)
Greening is able to retrieve the puck on a lost faceoff and Michalek cashes in short side
8. Washington, Carlson (en)
Karlsson‘s pass to Alfredsson is deflected and Carlson scores from behind his own blueline

Top-performers:
Erik Karlsson – was strong defensively tonight and assisted on the Sens first goal
Erik Condra – scored and was good in all three zones

Players who struggled:
Bobby Butler – it’s strange, but for the longest time Butler could do nothing to get himself elevated to the top line, but now that he’s there it appears he can do nothing to get removed from it
Jason Spezza – at some point he has to produce and be the team’s dominant offensive player; he was also a team worst -3
Brian Lee – played the fewest minute of any player on the team–clearly the coaching stuff has lost their confidence in him

Binghamton got a fantastic performance from Robin Lehner (35 saves, including 18 in the first period), but couldn’t score and lost to Wilkes-Barre.  I did not see the game so I’m reliant on reports of it.  Eric Gryba did not play, but I haven’t read why.  For the box score go here link and for Joy Lindsay’s game summary go here link.

Elmira won 5-4 tonight, with Brian Stewart earning another win and Jack Downing picking up a goal.  Louie Caporusso did not play.

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