Washington Capitals Win: Varly Saves The Day

Cheryl NicholsContributor INovember 12, 2009

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 11:  Semyon Varlamov #40 of the Washington Capitals makes a save against the New York Islanders at the Verizon Center on November 11, 2009 in Washington, DC.  The Capitals won the game 5-4 in a shootout.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

**Interesting to note that the No. 11 was an important number in DC sports today.  Earlier on Wedneday, the Washington Nationals' made history when Ryan Zimmerman (No. 11) won the NL 3B Gold Glove which is the first Gold Glove for the Nationals.  Then tonight, the Caps won their eleventh in an eleven round shootout.  Both of these took place on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.**

Washington, DC -- The Washington Capitals hosted the New York Islanders on a cold and rainy night, but made the night very exciting with a 5-4 win in an eleven round shootout.  Winning goal was scored by Captain Chris Clark.

Alex Semin is back and didn't waste any time getting things started.   Eight seconds in (and tying a franchise record for fastest goal to start a game), Semin scored with a rocket slap shot after Morrison won the draw.  Semin scored twice in regulation and again in the shootout.  Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau said, "He looked like he wanted to play.  And when he wants to play, he could have had six. He's scary good when he's motivated. There's the good and the bad—the goal, the giveaway, the miss." 

The Islanders quickly responded with a Matt Moulson goal at 1:02.  New York scored another two goals, making it three unanswered goals in less than seven minutes of the first period.  The game was on pace for a football score. Jose Theodore was pulled at 6:54 after the three Islander goals and replaced by Semyon Varlamov

"I don’t like to do that,” said Coach Boudreau of pulling Theodore, “especially so early, but he looked a little rattled and he looked a little down. It’s not like pulling him when the game is out of reach, we had so much time left. The last time he was pulled, Varly came in and shut the door, so I thought he would be able to do it again. Theo has played so well for us and he had a rough outing and he’ll come back this week and play another game and he’ll be great for us.”

Tomas Fleischmann scored on a power play at the end of the first period. The second period had only two goals and both were by Caps including Semin's second goal of the night to tie the game at three. With only 3:08 left in second, Eric Fehr became the tenth Cap to score in the four games where Ovechkin has been sidelined. "Good teams have guys pick it up," Boudreau said. "But by no means do we not miss him."

Varlamov shut down the Islanders until Trent Hunter scored on a power play with only 2:08 left in regulation to tie it up at four.  "We can't stand prosperity," Boudreau said. "We go penalty-less for two periods, then we take three in the third."

After a scoreless overtime, Varlamov yielded only one goal in the shootout by Jeff Tambellini which was on the Islanders' first attempt. Varly made several fantastic saves in the shootout, however, the highlight was in Hunter's 9th round shot which Varly stopped with his pads, then used his arms to grab the crossbar to stop from sliding into the goal with the puck in his pads. "I was just skating back into the goal very fast," he said through an interpreter. "I just grabbed the first thing I could to stop my movement into the net."

It took eleven rounds of the shootout before Captain Chris Clark beat Roloson to give the Caps the win.

Varlavmov earned the number one star of the game as well as the Hardhat for his 25 saves and .962 Save Pct.



00:08 Alex Semin (8), Slap Shot. Assist: B Morrison

01:02 Matt Moulson (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Streit

05:10 Mark Streit (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Gervais, Schremp

06:54 Sean Bergenheim (2), Backhand. Unassisted.

13:42 Power Play -Tomas Fleischmann (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Knuble


05:35 Power Play -Alex Semin (9), Snap Shot. Assist: Green

16:46 Eric Fehr (2), Backhand. Assist: Clark, Green

3RD PERIOD 17:52 Power Play - Trent Hunter (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Tavares, Nielsen

OT None


NYI: Tambellini (Round 1), Wrist Shot WAS: Semin (Round 2), Backhand and Clark (Round 12), Snap ________________________________________________________


1. S. Varlamov - WAS (Saves: 25, Save Pct: .962)

2. A. Semin - WAS (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)

3. M. Streit - NYI (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)


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