Washington DC-The Washington Capitals raised the President's Trophy banner tonight prior to their home opener for the 2010-11 season against the New Jersey Devils. Then they took the Devils behind the woodshed for a 7-2 drubbing complete with a pair of goals from superstar Alex Ovechkin.
Following a flat performance in a 4-2 loss to Atlanta in the season opener, Washington chased goaltender Martin Brodeur after two periods of play, scoring four times in the second period. Trailing 2-1 to open the period, Tomas Fleischmann scored from the circle at 1:59 in to tie the game. Alex Semin fed him a pass from behind the net and Fleischmann wasted no time in burying the puck on Brodeur's right side.
Ovechkin scored 14:31 into the period to push the Caps ahead for good and then added another with his second career penalty shot goal to put Washington up 5-2 going into the third period. Ovechkin was ecstatic over the conversion against Brodeur.
"I've had a couple of penalty shots against Marty and you never know what he is going to do so I just tried to make some simple moves and [the] puck goes in. I was pretty happy," he said following the game.
After the Capitals added some more insurance with goals from Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr in the third period, the real fireworks started. Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk squared off with Mike Green in a bout no one saw coming. Following the scuffle, the heavyweights got to work. Matt Hendricks and Rod Pelley dropped the gloves four seconds after Green-Kovalchuk and then Matt Bradley and David Clarkson engaged two seconds after that.
On the ensuing face-off, New Jersey's Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond tried to instigate a fight with rookie Marcus Johansson, but the young centerman declined. Leblond responded with a slash, sending both teams into a frenzy.
Washington, who had the least amount of fighting majors in the league last year, had four tonight, proving to the rest of the NHL they won't tolerate being pushed around.
Notes: John Carlson had a solid performance with a goal and two assists.
The Capitals had a shorthanded goal, a powerplay goal, and a penalty shot goal.