The Washington Capitals went Duck hunting Wednesday against Anaheim in a game that saw the high-flying Caps make a return. On Thursday, the Caps will head back to Earth and dive into the "Shark Tank" against San Jose looking for revenge.
A crazy 7-6 win against the Ducks saw the return of Washington's potent offense, highlighted by Alexander Semin's fourth hat trick of the season. Eleven different Caps registered points and four Caps other than Semin scored. Semin's three goals were his first since November 28.
Michal Neuvirth will also return to the net Thursday after entering Wednesday's game in relief of Semyon Varlamov, who surrendered three goals on nine shots in the first period. Neuvirth fared slightly better, allowing three goals on 12 shots.
Something, or more appropriately, someone, that didn't return Wednesday was Mike Green. Green has sat out of the first two games of this week's five-game road trip with "inner ear trauma" suffered from taking a puck to the face February 6. Green met with a specialist in California Wednesday and head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Green's tests went well.
The Capitals will be looking to exact revenge on the Sharks, who defeated them 2-0 last Tuesday at Verizon Center. Yet, the HP Pavilion, known by locals as the "Shark Tank," has not been a friendly place for Washington. The Caps are 0-9-1 in their last 10 trips to San Jose and have not won there since October 1993. In fact, as Katie Carrera points out, Arturs Irbe, Capitals goaltending coach, was the losing goalie of record in that contest.