for this game

Huet perfect in Capitals debut

Mar 1, 2008 - 5:03 AM NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Cristobal Huet's debut with the Washington Capitals could not have gone any better.

Huet made 18 saves en route to his 16th career shutout and Alexander Semin scored his sixth goal in seven games as the Capitals skated to a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

Defenseman Mike Green, Viktor Kozlov and enforcer Donald Brashear also tallied for Washington (30-27-8), which reached the 30-win plateau for the first time since 2002-03. With this triumph, the Capitals climbed within three points of the idle Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Southeast Division.

"Let's go for 40 (wins) then," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Let's never be satisfied."

Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots for the Devils, who suffered their first regulation home loss in seven games (5-1-1). New Jersey also failed to earn a point for the first time in 10 overall contests (7-1-2).

"The last couple of games, we haven't played 60 minutes, even though we (got) some points," Devils right wing Brian Gionta said. "Tonight, it caught up to us."

With the loss, New Jersey (37-22-6) remained just one point ahead of idle Pittsburgh (36-22-7) for first place in the Atlantic Division. It also saw its lead for the top spot in the Eastern Conference shrink to one point as Montreal (35-21-9) posted a 6-2 victory over Buffalo on Friday.

"Obviously, we played a team that played with desperation," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "We were a team that played that way for one period, and the last two periods, we weren't a great hockey team. It was kind of a reflection of the way we played our last two hockey games."

Acquired from Montreal in a surprising deal at Tuesday's trade deadline, Huet had a relatively easy first game with Washington, turning aside six shots in the first period, 10 in the second and a mere two in the third for his third shutout of the season.

"I thought the third period was great," Huet said. "I tried to keep my focus, but I didn't have much to do. We played a great game on both ends of the ice."

New Jersey recorded its first shot of the final period at 7:40 and its other exactly six minutes later.

"That was as close to our 60-minute game as possible," Boudreau said. "When you hold a team that's down 1-0 to two shots in the third period, I think that's quite an accomplishment."

Boudreau believed Huet made his best save 7 1/2 minutes into the game, when he denied Zach Parise on a breakaway.

"I thought that lifted our team very much," Boudreau said. "It was a great breakaway save. As good as Cris played, I thought the defense played really solid as well."

Despite knowing he will be sharing time with Olaf Kolzig, Huet was pleased to be a member of the Capitals.

"I was very much elated (with the trade)," Huet said. "It's a fresh start for me. They gave me that confidence to trade for me and they gave me that trust that I didn't have all the time. Plus, Olie and Brent Johnson are two great teammates."

Also making his debut with Washington was former Hart Trophy winner Sergei Fedorov, who was obtained from Columbus on Tuesday.

"Very happy for him," Fedorov said of Huet. "He was kind of like me - he wasn't sure what's going on in the future. He came to the team and had a shutout against a very good defensive team, and obviously Marty Brodeur's the best goalie ever. I'm very happy for Cris."

Boudreau credited general manager George McPhee for making his team stronger by adding Huet and Fedorov.

"He made trades for real professional and experienced guys," Boudreau said. "He did a great job. I knew Cris because I coached him before, but Sergei was good or better than I would have anticipated."

Huet received all the support he needed midway through the second period, when Green beat Brodeur to the stick side with a shot from the left faceoff dot off a feed from the bottom of the right circle by Semin during a power play. The goal was Green's 17th of the season, which leads all NHL blue-liners.

Also receiving an assist on the play was the veteran Fedorov, who made a backhand pass to Semin.

"I guess it was just a very quick play," Fedorov said. "I looked back and saw Alexander Semin was coming in, so I just put the puck there. After that, it was up to him, and he found Mike Green. That was a beautiful shot."

The Capitals, who are 3-2-3 in their last eight games, did not take long to jell with their new teammates.

"We were kind of feeling each other out," Green said. "But by the time the second period rolled around, we were clicking."

"We want to make them feel welcome here," Brashear added. "They've got to jump in quick. We don't have time to waste."

A former Devil, Kozlov doubled Washington's lead 43 seconds into the third, sweeping the puck past Brodeur from the left circle after receiving a cross-ice pass from the right point by superstar Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals have thrived when Kozlov has scored a goal, improving to 10-0-1 on such occasions.

Semin one-timed a shot past Brodeur from the left faceoff dot at 8:59 during a man advantage for his 20th of the season and a 3-0 bulge. Brashear capped the scoring with 2:55 remaining, beating the reigning Vezina Trophy winner from the slot for his fourth goal.

Poti and rookie Nicklas Backstrom each recorded two assists for the Capitals, who raised their record to 20-0-2 when ahead after two periods.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 3 4
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 17 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, SERGEI FEDOROV)
    11:27
    3RD PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 13 (ALEX OVECHKIN, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    0:43
    WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 20 (BRIAN POTHIER, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM

    Feb 29 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    NEW JERSEY 0
    3RD PRD: WAS - DONALD BRASHEAR 4 (MATT BRADLEY) 17:05

    Capitals 4, Devils 0  3rd - 2:55Feb 29 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    NEW JERSEY 0
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 20 (BRIAN POTHIER, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 8:59

    Capitals 3, Devils 0  3rd - 11:01Feb 29 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    NEW JERSEY 0
    3RD PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 13 (ALEX OVECHKIN, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    17:10

    Capitals 2, Devils 0  3rd - 2:50Feb 29 8:49 PM
  • 30
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Capitals 1, Devils 0  End of 2ndFeb 29 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 17 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, SERGEI FEDOROV)
    11:27
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 4 12 16
    NJD 6 10 16
    GOALIES:

    Feb 29 8:28 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    NEW JERSEY 0
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) MIKE GREEN 17 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, SERGEI FEDOROV)
    11:27

    Capitals 1, Devils 0  2nd - 8:33Feb 29 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 4 4
    NJD 6 6
    GOALIES: WAS - CRISTOBAL HUET
    NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR

    Feb 29 7:39 PM
  • goCapsRavens Missed my pick :( But Caps are going to win!

    Capitals 0, Devils 0  1st - 19:55Feb 29 7:10 PM
  • 25
    roots
    goCapsRavens Added 5 roots

    Capitals 0, Devils 0  1st - 19:55Feb 29 7:09 PM
  • 20
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    jonyboy26 Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. DevilsFeb 29 5:24 PM
  • 15
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    christianbusch Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. DevilsFeb 29 3:10 PM
  • 10
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    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. DevilsFeb 22 4:27 PM
  • 5
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    dcnationals74 Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. DevilsJan 24 7:50 AM