Washington Capitals Make It An Even Ten, Senators Shutout Caps

You can add Ottawa Senator’s goalie Craig Anderson to the list Caps fans. Anderson joins Tampa Bay’s Dwayne Roloson (twice), Atlanta’s Ondrea Pavelec (twice), New York’s Rangers Henriq Lundqvist (twice), New Jersey’s Johan Hedberg, Florida’s Thomas Vokun, and San Jose’s Antti Niemi as the goalies that have shut out the once high-powered Washington Capitals offense this season.

Anderson made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season as Colin Greening and Erik Condra scored, and Ottawa beat the Washington Capitals 2-0 on Friday night. The loss was shutout number 10 on the season for the Capitals, who played their second straight game without team Captain and leading scorer, Alexander Ovechkin.

The 10th shutout is just two shy of the all time franchise record set back in the Caps inaugural season of 1974-75. The team was shut out 11 times in 1999 as both totals are within reach with just seven games remaining. 

Anderson was acquired on Feb. 18 from the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa has decided to make him the building block between the pipes for the next four years as they rebuild. On Monday, he signed a four-year, $12.75 million contract extension Monday. Since the contract extension, he is 2-0 and has stopped 60 shots, allowing just one goal.

“He was good,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. “There’s a reason they gave him four years. They knew a good goalie when they saw one.” (washingtoncapitals.com)

The Senators probably have tee-times for the second Monday in April but will not go quietly as the last ranked team in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. Ottawa recently posted wins over the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and twice beat the Tampa Bay Lightning within an eight-day span.

Their recent run of 12-6-1 since the trade deadline has them within two points of the 14th place Florida Panthers.

Tonight marked the return of Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov from a knee-injury. Varlamov has not played since February-20 when he beat the Sabres 2-1 in Buffalo. Varlamov stopped 21 shots for Washington but seemed to surrender a soft goal on Ottawa’s second marker.

 Collin Greening put the Sens up 1-0 or should I say got credit for his fourth goal on a play that the Sens may have gotten a goal they should not have, as Greening interfered with Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov.

Greening was in the crease and fell forward into the crossbar, coming into contact with Varlamov while the puck crossed the line. After a very long video review, the on-ice ruling of a goal was upheld, much to the displeasure of Boudreau.

“I wanted to know whether he was interfered with and I think the question in Toronto was whether he kicked it in,” Boudreau said.  

Ottawa’s second goal may be one Varlamov would like to have back. Erik Condra scored 2:12 into the final frame after Milan Michalek cut off Varlamov’s clearing attempt in the right corner and fed Condra, who snapped a shot between the pads of Varlamov to put the Sens up 2-0.

The Caps will travel to Montreal overnight to take on the still seething Canadians. The Canadians are playing in their first game since being crushed, 7-0 by their division rivals, the Boston Bruins on Thursday evening.

Following last night’s loss, the Caps are now 6-6-2 on the front end of back-to-back games this season. The Caps are 6-6-1 in the second game.