Capitals 5, Lightning 1: Mike Green Sets A New NHL Record

Allen PopelsCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2009

The Capitals waited over five months into the season to make their first road trip to the sunshine state.  It was a family affair as they invited their dads along for the ride. 

The night ended up being one that both the players and their special guests will never forget.

Mike Green set a new NHL record by scoring a goal in his eighth straight game.  The strike came in the second period on the power play pulling him into a tie with Buffalo's Thomas Vanek for the first place in the league in goals with the extra man.  His teammates then emptied the bench in celebration.

"We were told it wouldn't be a penalty," said head coach Bruce Boudreau.  "When Mike did score I said, 'Go on the ice' and they said, 'Are we allowed?'  It was a pretty cool thing.  I was so proud of Mike and I was really really happy that his dad was here to see it.  That's really special."

"It's incredible," said Green.  "I wasn't expecting that but I was excited.  It almost brought a little tear to my eye, so I was pretty jacked up."

"He could have had Mickey Mouse coaching him," added Boudreau.  "Eventually he was going to be a great hockey player.  I'm just happy I'm the one that right now is able to coach both Mike and Alex [Ovechkin]."

It was also a special night for rookie goaltender Michal Neuvirth who made 31 saves in his NHL debut to pick up the win.

"He was probably nervous handling the puck in the first ten seconds.  He made some great saves and kept us in the game, and that's what you need goalies to do.  Make that save and keep you in the game until you get your legs underneath you.  And I thought we were the better team in the last half of the game."

"What can I say?  It's unreal.  An unreal feeling right now," said Neuvirth.  "I still can't believe that.  That was my best feeling ever."

"The way it worked, it was a really cool night with the Dads being here," said Boudreau.  "Michael [Neuvirth] playing his first game, [Staffan] Kronwall playing his first game, and Mike Green breaking the record.  That's all really special.  Those are memories these guys are going to take forever.  I just hope they come down enough to play tomorrow because we're playing a real tough opponent."

The Caps have less than 24 hours to celebrate before they take on the streaking Florida Panthers Sunday at 5:00 pm in a match-up of the top two teams in the Southeast Division.