WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 03: Michal Neuvirth #30 of the Washington Capitals is congratulted by teammates after the Capitals 5-4 shootout victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Verizon Center on November 3 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Capitals Defeat Maple Leafs 5-4 In A Shootout

Alex Ovechkin got the game-winning shootout goal as the Capitals topped the Maple Leafs 5-4.

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Alexander Semin Played Well Last Night Despite Feeling Sick

There are two definitions of the word sick. One could describe the shootout goal he had last night, the other to describe how he felt when he took the ice. According to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post is reporting that Alexander Semin was sick last night and it wasn't a definite that he would even play.

Following the game, Coach Bruce Boudreau revealed that Semin was feeling a bit ill before faceoff and that it was uncertain if he would play.

Hockey teams are notoriously stingy with information about injuries and health issues, so it is no surprise that we didn't hear about it before the game. Props to Alexander Semin for playing through an illness, and playing one of his most successful games of the season while he was feeling under the weather.

Semin finished the game with a point and an assist on four shots on goal. In a game that ended up being decided by the slimmest of margins, Semin's ability to play through sickness was critical for the Caps.


Alex Ovechkin's Wrist Shot Gives Capitals 5-4 Shootout Win Over Maple Leafs

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Alex Ovechkin scored the winner in the shootout as the Washington Capitals took a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center.

In the second round, Ovechkin used a wrister to beat Jonas Gustavsson through the five-hole and, after Michal Neuvrith made a blocker save on Nikolai Kulemin’s wrister, Alexander Semin sealed the win as he blasted a slap shot past Gustavsson.

Semin had a goal and an assist while Tomas Fleischmann, Jason Chimera and Mike Green each lit the lamp for the Capitals, who have won four of their last five. Neuvrith finished the game with 24 saves.

“We had plenty of chances and so did they,” said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We went to the net and that’s how you score goals. They fought back and we fought back, it was one of those games.”

Tomas Kaberle had a goal and an assist and Kulemin, Kris Versteeg and Tyler Bozak each scored for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped four straight and seven of eight. Gustavsson stopped 26 shots in the loss.

Toronto got the only goal of the first period at the 14:29 mark. Kulemin picked up the loose puck at the top of the left circle, stick handled his way over to the low right circle and shot it into the far side of the net.

The Capitals, though, responded with a three-goal second period to surge ahead.

Skating on the man advantage, Semin sent a pass from the left circle to the right where Green snapped a high wrister into the net at the 6:05 mark.

Exactly 4 1/2 minutes later, the Caps took the lead. Matt Bradley had the puck and chipped it down to the low right corner where Boyd Gordon caught up to it. Gordon immediately threw the disc out front and Chimera banged it in as he was crashing the net.

Less than a minute, a slap shot by John Carlson at the right point was tipped in by Fleischmann for a 3-1 lead.

Toronto scored three straight goals in a three-minute span in the third to take back the advantage.

The first goal came at the 4:14 mark of the frame when a wrist shot from Kaberle at the left circle got past Neuvrith.

Less than a minute later, Versteeg was sprung on a breakaway by Mike Komisarek and he slid the disc between the pads of Neuvrith.

On the power play, Toronto took a 4-3 lead as Kaberle’s wrist shot from the right circle was stopped by Neuvrith, but Bozak was there to jam in the rebound at the 7:17 mark.

Washington, though, tied the game with a power-play marker at 14:22 when Semin grabbed the puck at the left side of the net and lifted it over Gustavsson from the side.

Toronto hosts Buffalo on Saturday…The Capitals host the Bruins on Friday…These teams split the four games last season…The Capitals went 2- for-4 on the power play and are 5-for-8 on the man advantage over their past two games…Toronto went 1-for-4 on the man advantage.


Capitals Get Back In Action Against Maple Leafs

(Sports Network) - Now that it appears Alex Ovechkin's scoring drought is a thing of the past, the Russian superstar and his Washington Capitals will try to build off a dominating offensive performance when they host the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin had gone five straight games without a goal in the middle of October before scoring late in a 2-1 loss to Minnesota last Thursday. The two-time Hart and Rocket Richard trophy winner then posted two goals and an assist in Saturday's 7-2 thrashing of the Flames in Calgary.

The Capitals used a six-goal second period to dominate the Flames at the Saddledome. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and three assists for the Capitals, while Mike Green and Alexander Semin each recorded a goal and two helpers.

Michal Neuvirth made 27 saves in the victory -- the third in four games for the Capitals.

"The power play started going and the guys were feeding off of that," Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It was a rocky beginning but I thought it was a great end. We got every bounce known to man."

The Capitals were 3-for-4 on the man advantage and are now 7-for-42 (16.7 percent) on the power play this season.

Saturday's victory allowed Washington to wrap up a three-game road trip with a 2-1-0 record. The Caps, who are 4-1-0 in D.C. this year, will kick off a three-game homestand tonight and will also face Boston and Philadelphia during the residency.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs have dropped three straight and six of their last seven contests (1-5-1) since opening the season with a 4-0 start. Toronto's latest setback came Tuesday night against visiting Ottawa, as the Senators jumped out to a three-goal lead and held on for a 3-2 decision at Air Canada Centre.

Clarke MacArthur contributed a goal with an assist and Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed three goals on 24 shots in the losing effort. Francois Beauchemin also tallied for the Maple Leafs.

"When we finally scored, we relaxed a little bit, and you could see the difference," said Toronto head coach Ron Wilson. "We just got to build on it. We're so caught up in this thing we can't score ... we're so tight and not relaxing around the net."

The Maple Leafs also lost star defenseman Dion Phaneuf to a deep cut suffered in Tuesday's game. Phaneuf will not play in tonight's game.

The Capitals and Maple Leafs split four meetings last year, but Washington pounded Toronto, 6-1, the last time the clubs played on Jan. 15. That game, which was also staged in D.C., featured a four-assist, five-point performance by Ovechkin, who has 32 points (18 goals, 14 assists) in 19 career games against the Leafs.

Toronto has still taken five of nine overall in this series, but the Caps have won three of four and five of the last seven encounters in D.C.

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