On Saturday night, the Washington Capitals improved their record to 4-0-0 against the Ottawa Senators. With the win the Capitals mark the first time they have started the season with four straight wins since the 1997-1998 season. That same season was the only time the Capitals have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Is this a sign of good things to come? I hope so.
With goalie Michal Neuvirth still day-to-day with a lower body injury, Tomas Vokoun got his third straight start in net. Vokoun, who started the season out very poorly, played phenomenal in the Capitals win. He posted 33 saves, only allowing one goal with 25 seconds left in the first period. Since Vokoun’s regular season debut, where he let in five goals on 28 shots, he has now stopped 72 of the 75 shots he has faced in his past two starts. He now has a 2.57 GAA and a .922 save percentage. If he keeps these numbers up throughout the season, Vokoun could see himself winning the Vezina Trohpy for the league’s best goaltender.
Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson recorded Washington’s two goals, both coming early in the first period as the Capitals came surging out of the gates. Mike Knuble assisted on each goal and has been a key component in both of the Capitals past two games. Backstrom’s goal was the first time the Capitals have scored first in a game this season. The two goal lead was also the Capitals first multiple-goal lead of the season.
The Capitals played a great game defensively, beating the Senators to the pucks in the corners and earned every bit of the win. Defenseman Roman Hamrlik played in his 1,315th NHL game, setting the record for the most games played by a Czech born player. Dennis Wideman, who recorded an assist on Johansson’s goal, has a point in each of the Capitals first four games. He is three games short of his career record for point streak, which he set in 2009.
The Washington Capitals play again on Tuesday night against the new look Florida Panthers at 7:00. Stay tuned for a game day preview.