Game Recap

Capitals 2, Predators 1, OT

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Associated Press

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Capitals 2, Predators 1, OT
Washington Capitals 2, Nashville Predators 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Sergei Fedorov scored 2:20 into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

The Capitals snapped a season-worst, four-game losing streak while the Predators dropped their second straight after winning six in a row.

From the right corner, Alexander Semin passed the puck to Viktor Kozlov on the right boards. Kozlov moved it into the low slot to Fedorov, who slid in a backhander for his eighth goal of the season.

The Predators took a 1-0 lead 50 seconds into the game when defenseman Ryan Suter's wrist shot from above the left circle through traffic beat goalie Jose Theodore low to the stick side.

Nicklas Backstrom tied it with 1:21 left in the second period. Alex Ovechkin sent a pass to Backstrom in the low slot, and he saw goalie Dan Ellis fall to the ice. Backstrom then lifted a wrist shot into the vacated net for his 18th goal.

Erat's Unsung Night

While Dan Ellis stole the spotlight with a sparkling 42-save outing, perhaps lost in the efforts of the night was a tremendous two-way performance from Martin Erat. Erat was consistently dangerous throughout the night, using his speed to create some of the team’s best scoring opportunities.

Erat assisted on the game’s opening goal, his seventh point in his last five games. He nearly gave the Preds a 2-0 lead midway through the second period with a bank pass off the back of the net from behind the goal line to David Legwand for a quality wrap-around scoring chance.

Beyond the offensive production, Erat made several key defensive plays. With the Predators holding a 1-0 lead late in the first period, Erat hustled back on defense to help Shea Weber diffuse a potential three-on-one for the Capitals. Erat made several other quality defensive plays to limit opportunities for Washington’s creative forwards, finishing the night with two hits and two takeaways.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com

Ellis started for Nashville after projected starter Pekka Rinne showed up to the morning skate with flu-like symptoms and was sent home. Despite playing in just three games since the All-Star break, Ellis was strong in stopping 42 shots.

The Capitals thought they had taken a 2-1 lead at 4:50 of the third, but a video review determined that Tomas Fleischmann had directed the puck into the net with a kick.

Notes: Nashville center Scott Nichol played in his first game since sustaining a concussion Dec. 9 against Vancouver. ... The Predators recalled G Drew MacIntyre from Milwaukee (AHL) to serve as Ellis' backup. ... Predators D Shea Weber's assist gave him a career-best 41 points. ... Semin extended his point streak to seven games.

Post-Game Press Conference:
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On getting a point tonight …
Danny Ellis was really good. I thought we gave up too many chances against a very good offensive team. We held them to one goal, and Ellie was a big part of that. We’ll take the point. I thought during the first period we were probably the better team, and in the second or third they were a little stronger. Their offensive players really stepped up and made it very difficult for us to get going.

On Washington’s ability to forecheck …
They did a good job. They get you on your heels because they stretch you out a little bit. They have some dynamic guys that leave the zone, so they spread you out and get you in one-on-one situations. They did a good job forechecking, and they’ve got some big guys. They’re a big, heavy team and it made it pretty difficult for us.

On tonight’s fights …
Belak and Brashear went at it because they were trying to change the tone. But I thought we were carrying the play, we were being physical, and he was trying to change the tone for his team, so they went at it. Obviously with the outcome of that they were trying to respond and that’s sort of a little bit of “the code,” that someone was going to get into another fight. They were trying to change the tone for their team because I thought there early we were carrying the play.

On the first shift …
It was a great first shift. We came out and really were persistent on the puck and had the quickness around the puck. They made plays and they stayed on it in retrieval situations and did a real good job. It was a great start for us.

On Jason Arnott …
He got shaken up through a pass through the middle. Right now we should be pretty hopeful that he’ll be ready to go Thursday. We’ll see where he is tomorrow and evaluate him and go from there. He’s a big part of going forward here, and we expect him to play Thursday.

Goaltender Dan Ellis
On getting one point and staying on pace in the standings…
We’re in a big playoff race right now and it’s going to come down to the very last game. You look at the standings from 6th to 12th place and everybody’s in it right now. The other day we lost a game and we went down in the standings and then we didn’t even play and we moved up a spot. That’s the way the race is right now and it’s important to get points every chance you get.

On building confidence after holding up against an offensive team…
It’s nice to get back into the fight. It’s been a while and it took snow storm number two to get back in there. I just tried to make the most of it and tried to play my best because you never know if you’re going to play again.

On facing so many shots in return…
It’s in a fun way – it was a real challenge. When you don’t play for seven or eight games to jump back in there against the best player in the world it’s something I look forward to and try to make the most of it and enjoy the moment and show them I can still play.

Forward David Legwand
On Washington getting more opportunities in overtime…
They have a very high-skilled hockey team. They have a lot of world-class hockey players and world class talent. Ovechkin is the best player in hockey right now and he’s going to be dangerous every time he’s on the ice.

On getting motivated by tonight’s game…
Obviously you want to play well and keep them off the board. I think we did a pretty fair job and us getting one – I think that’s what Barry was looking for with that. We have to look forward and get ready for Thursday.

Forward Joel Ward
On playing against Ovechkin…
Obviously you’re watching the best player out there. He’s pretty much at 50 goals for three straight years which is unbelievable. We tried not to give him too much room – he’s good for six or seven shots at least.

On Ellis’s play…
It shows his character. Even though he wasn’t playing the last few games obviously he wasn’t going to pout or anything. He’s a great guy – a great guy to have in our dressing room and we all love him to death. So to see him go out there and battle tonight was an unbelievable feeling. It was good for him and it was good for us. No matter which goalie is in the net, we know we’re going to get great goaltending either way.

Forward Jordin Tootoo
On playing Eastern Conference teams…
Anytime we play Eastern Conference teams we have to get points out of it. The next game coming up is going to be huge. We just have to regroup ourselves tomorrow and come with the right mindset.

On Washington being physical right away…
They have a lot of big forwards. We knew their gameplan was to play offensively. They stuck it out. We have guys in the dressing room that can battle each and every night and that’s part of our team – we play physical and bring it all. You’re going to play teams that you don’t think are physical but that’s part of the game.

On having confidence when Ellis comes in and plays the way he did…
He played tremendous. Obviously Pekka has been playing well. Ellis gave us a chance tonight and unfortunately we came up short. He hasn’t been in the lineup the last couple weeks. But he brought the right mindset and he made a couple key saves that changed the momentum in the game.

scoring summary
1st Period
Ryan Suter (6) ASST: Shea Weber (24), Martin Erat (26)
1 - 0 NSH
2nd Period
Nicklas Backstrom (18) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (38), Viktor Kozlov (21)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
OT Period
Sergei Fedorov (8) ASST: Viktor Kozlov (22), Alexander Semin (36)
2 - 1 WSH
penalty summary
1st Period
Wade Belak  Fighting (maj) against  Donald Brashear
Donald Brashear  Fighting (maj) against  Wade Belak
Jordin Tootoo  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Bradley
Matt Bradley  Fighting (maj) against  Jordin Tootoo
2nd Period
John Erskine  Fighting (maj) against  Wade Belak
Wade Belak  Fighting (maj) against  John Erskine
Alex Ovechkin  Cross checking against  Martin Erat
3rd Period
Greg De Vries  Hi-sticking against  Boyd Gordon
Sergei Fedorov  Hooking against  Antti Pihlstrom
Dan Hamhuis  Hooking against  Brooks Laich
Jerred Smithson  Hooking against  Viktor Kozlov
OT Period
goalie stats
Jose Theodore
Jose Theodore
SA: 28TOI: 62:20
Saves: 27EV: 26 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .964SH: 1 - 1
Dan Ellis
Dan Ellis
SA: 44TOI: 62:20
Saves: 42EV: 34 - 36
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .955SH: 2 - 2

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