for this game

Johnson strong in goal as Capitals top Rangers

Nov 9, 2008 - 4:30 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Brent Johnson stopped 28 shots and Brooks Laich and defenseman Tom Poti tallied to lead the Washington Capitals past the New York Rangers, 3-1, on Saturday.

In the second game of a three-game homestand, the Capitals improved to 5-0-1 at the Verizon Center despite reigning Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin being mired in a career-high, eight-game goalless drought.

"Alex will take care of himself," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's a moot point. We'd love to see him score, and he's gonna score. He's playing hard for the team, and that's all that counts."

So is Johnson. His biggest save of the night came after Ovechkin hooked Rangers captain Chris Drury, leading to a penalty shot at 9:25 of the third period.

Drury skated in and tried to sneak the puck past the goaltender's right pad with a backhander, but Johnson poked it away to maintain Washington's one-goal bulge.

"It was a great kill by (Johnson)," Boudreau said.

"I just came out and challenged him as much as I could," said Johnson, who has stopped two of the three penalty shots he has faced during his 10-year career. "He was close enough that when he tried to go to the backhand, I was able to get my stick on it. I was just able to be out far enough to cut down the angle."

Johnson (3-0-2) also withstood a furious final minute in which New York failed to convert on the power play.

"We knew they were going to (pressure)," Johnson said. "They came out and got a goal on the power play (earlier in the third), but the guys had battled hard through it. The shots were coming from wide angles, and we just did a heck of a job defensively."

Johnson has stopped 102 of the last 107 shots he has faced.

"Right now, Brent is really playing well, and he's in a position he hasn't been in quite a few years," Boudreau said. "So I hope he's relishing it. He's coming out to play every night as if it's his last game, and he's playing great. We love it."

Just 34 seconds after Rangers defenseman Wade Redden was whistled for high-sticking, Laich's power-play goal at 9:14 of the first period gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead.

Alexander Semin fired a shot from the left faceoff circle that ricocheted off the crossbar and caromed high off the glass behind the net. The puck came back and again hit the crossbar before glancing off goaltender Henrik Lundqvist's helmet.

Laich skated in front and poked the puck out of mid-air and past Lundqvist for his third goal of the season.

Poti's first tally of the campaign with 2:54 remaining in the first doubled Washington's advantage. It was Poti's first game-winning goal since the 2006-07 season.

Boyd Gordon skated toward the net from the left wing and fired a shot off Lundqvist's pads. Poti was there to stuff the rebound home with a backhander.

The Rangers lost for the first time this season when trailing after the first period.

"We have speed," New York coach Tom Renney said. "We have an ability to play physical. We need to be proactive and believe in what we're doing all the time, and we'll have success. We got some tough calls. Your tendency is then to play a little safer, and that's not the way to play this game."

Aaron Voros' wrist shot from the left circle pulled the Rangers within 2-1 at 6:27 of the third period. But Semin sealed the win by firing the puck into an empty net from the opposite end of the rink with six seconds remaining.

Semin leads the league with seven goals in the third period and overtime combined.

Lundqvist made 25 saves for the Rangers, who have gone 6-5-1 since opening the season with five straight victories.

Washington's power-play unit, which is ranked 26th in the league, has not produced more than one goal in its past 10 games. It went 1-for-4 in this one.

Boudreau claimed he might start Johnson again on Monday, when the Capitals conclude their homestand against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"But Wednesday, we might have a different No. 1," Boudreau said in reference to Jose Theodore. "I'm not into these goalie controversies. If you're playing good, you're playing good. We've still got 69 games left. I'm sure somebody's going to be hot. Maybe Theo will be hot for 20 games. I think the last 40 games last year, he was on fire."

Johnson will just continue to go with the flow.

"I'm just going to keep playing hard, and whatever happens, happens," he said. "I'm going to try my best to stay in the net and get wins for the guys."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0 1 1
    WASHINGTON 2 0 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) BROOKS LAICH 3 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 9:14
    WAS - TOM POTI 1 (BOYD GORDON, DONALD BRASHEAR) 17:06
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) AARON VOROS 6 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, DAN GIRARDI)
    6:27
    WAS - (E

    Nov 8 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    WASHINGTON 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - (EN) ALEXANDER SEMIN 11 (JEFF SCHULTZ) 19:54

    Rangers 1, Capitals 3  3rd - 0:06Nov 8 9:32 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Rangers 1, Capitals 3  3rd - 0:06Nov 8 9:32 PM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 1, Capitals 2  3rd - 1:20Nov 8 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    WASHINGTON 2
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) AARON VOROS 6 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, DAN GIRARDI) 6:27

    Rangers 1, Capitals 2  3rd - 13:33Nov 8 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0 0
    WASHINGTON 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) BROOKS LAICH 3 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 9:14
    WAS - TOM POTI 1 (BOYD GORDON, DONALD BRASHEAR) 17:06
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR

    Nov 8 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 0 0
    WASHINGTON 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) BROOKS LAICH 3 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 9:14
    WAS - TOM POTI 1 (BOYD GORDON, DONALD BRASHEAR) 17:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 7

    Nov 8 7:48 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 0
    WASHINGTON 2
    1ST PRD: WAS - TOM POTI 1 (BOYD GORDON, DONALD BRASHEAR) 17:10

    Rangers 0, Capitals 2  1st - 2:50Nov 8 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 1 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, ALEX
    OVECHKIN) 9:14

    Rangers 0, Capitals 1  1st - 10:46Nov 8 7:28 PM