Flyers
Capitals
1 - 2 Final - 2OT
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Theodore, Kozlov help Capitals upend Flyers

Jan 7, 2009 - 5:12 AM
By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Jose Theodore stopped all three attempts he faced in the shootout to make Viktor Kozlov's first-round goal stand as the Washington Capitals recorded their seventh win in a row, a 2-1 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Nicklas Backstrom netted a power-play goal and Theodore turned aside 33 shots for Washington, which improved to 12-1-0 in its last 13 games.

The Capitals' lone loss in that stretch was a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Flyers on December 20. In that game, 78 minutes of penalties were assessed.

"They are one of the better teams in the league, and the last time, they beat us bad," Theodore said. "We owed them a game, so tonight everyone played well."

"They beat us 7-1," defending Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin said. "It doesn't matter how we win - in a shootout or overtime, we just want to win. We'll take the points and move forward."

Defenseman Braydon Coburn scored a power-play goal and Martin Biron made 33 saves for Philadelphia, which suffered its second straight shootout loss. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Flyers in the bonus format on Saturday, also by a 2-1 margin.

"A couple of times, I was like a fish out of water back there," Biron said. "The puck was taking weird bounces off the end boards. A couple guys were laying down, blocking shots. As a goalie, it gives you more energy.

"At times, they were moving out of the way and letting me see the puck - boxing out so I could cover up. It's not just blocking shots, but doing it at key times of the game."

Flyers coach John Stevens credited Biron for his strong play.

"He played good, and it's unusual that (the Capitals) scored early like they did," Stevens said. "He didn't let anything in the rest of the way. He did pretty good in the shootout again. That part of his game is getting better. Marty's play was solid, and we're going to need that."

Philadelphia outshot Washington, 6-1, in overtime, but the teams had to settle their differences with a shootout.

Kozlov opened the bonus format by backhanding the puck past Biron and just under the crossbar.

Theodore thwarted Simon Gagne and captain Mike Richards with left pad saves before denying Jeff Carter to seal the win.

"I always like our chances in shootouts," Theodore said. "With the skill that we have and my record (11-3 lifetime), I feel pretty comfortable in shootouts. They have some skilled players, but when we scored that first one, I just knew that if I stopped the last three, we would get the win."

"Right now, you're running with the hot hand, and he's the hot hand," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said of Theodore. "He looks way more sure of himself. The anticipation was great, the rebound control was really good. All of the things he's noted for when he's on top of his game are there."

After allowing 23 shots on goal over the first two periods, Washington limited Philadelphia to 11 in the third period and overtime.

"We played better defensively this game, and it was good for us," Capitals forward Alexander Semin said. "We played good and Jose played really good."

"Individual great offensive play is going to win you some great games, but defense is going to win you championships, and that's what we're striving for," Boudreau said. "We can play defense when we want and we're getting great goaltending."

Nineteen seconds after Flyers rookie defenseman Luca Sbisa was whistled for holding, Backstrom opened the scoring just 2:10 into the first period with a power-play goal, converting a backhand pass from behind the net by Semin.

Although the Flyers outshot the Capitals, 12-10, in an action-packed first period, Washington has outscored its opponents, 26-9, in the opening session of during its 20 homes games this season.

Five seconds after Washington's Michael Nylander was called for hooking, Coburn leveled the contest at 1-1 by unleashing a shot from above the right faceoff circle that beat Theodore just 23 seconds into the third period.

"Once it got to 1-1, both teams turned into more cautious teams rather than just run-and-gun," Boudreau said. "That's what I thought would happen in a game where both teams wanted to win so bad. We won in a shootout. It's not like we came in here and outshot them, 43-14, and dominated them. We won in a shootout, and that's basically a tie game for 65 minutes.

"We feel like every game against Philly is going to be a battle."

The tired Flyers concluded a season-high six-game road trip with a 2-2-2 mark.

"We just played two very good teams and we didn't have any energy," Stevens said. "We talked to the team about it, and we all agreed they were feeling sluggish. We've had some guys injured, and some of our veteran guys have stepped up and played great. I like the way we're playing and I like the fact we're capable of mounting an offensive attack."

In the end, the Capitals struck last.

"We know they are very dangerous, so we were inclined to make sure that there were no odd-man rushes," Boudreau said. "We know their quick-strike ability, so everybody was a little more conscientious today, I think, than at other times that we've played, and that's why you saw so much neutral-zone play. Both teams were pretty good in the neutral zone, not allowing the other team to get speed to go into the (offensive) zone."

The Capitals improved to an Eastern Conference-best 18-1-1 at home.

"I've been in the business for 33 years professionally, and I've never been on a team that's gone through 20 games and only lost (twice) on home ice," Boudreau said. "When you've got the support that we're getting, which is probably unprecedented in this area, from my memories anyway, you get a defiance and a determination every time you step on the ice at home. It's a pretty cool feeling to have."






  • 41
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Flyers 1, Capitals 1  3rd - 17:01Jan 7 12:01 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 1 0 (0) 1
    WASHINGTON 1 0 0 0 (1) 2 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 12 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, VIKTOR
    KOZLOV) 2:10
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) BRAYDON COBURN 5 (KIMMO TIMONEN, JEFF CARTER)
    0:23
    OT: NONE
    SO: W

    Flyers 1, Capitals 2  Final - 2OTJan 6 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    WASHINGTON 1
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) BRAYDON COBURN 5 (KIMMO TIMONEN) 0:23

    Flyers 1, Capitals 1  3rd - 19:37Jan 6 8:55 PM
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    Flyers 1, Capitals 1  3rd - 19:37Jan 6 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 12 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, VIKTOR
    KOZLOV) 2:10
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 12 11 23
    WAS 10 13 23
    GOA

    Jan 6 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0
    WASHINGTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 12 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, VIKTOR
    KOZLOV) 2:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 12 12
    WAS 10 10
    GOALIES: PHI - MA

    Jan 6 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 12 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, VIKTOR
    KOZLOV) 2:10

    Flyers 0, Capitals 1  1st - 17:50Jan 6 7:14 PM
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