Caps shelved Ovie for a few days to get him healthy come playoff time. They went into first place Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Coming in they were 2 points behind them for the top spot in the East. Due to some weak Flyer goaltending, we jumped out to a 3-0 lead. However, for the better parts of the second and third periods, we were outplayed and the Flyers stormed back to take a 4-3 advantage.
Despite being outplayed, Marcus Johannson fired a one timer past Brian Boucher to tie to the game 4-4 with 5 minutes left. Regulation ended with the same score. OT provided no goals so it went down to the shootout. It was 2 to 2 and it came down to Semin as the final shooter. He skated in hard and made a couple of nifty moves and put in a backhander to end the game.
It wasn't the best played game and we squandered a 3-0 lead but the important thing is that we fought back and found a way to win. We did so on the road and decimated with injuries (Ovie, Arnott, Green).
The Caps now find themselves one point out of the top spot in the East(granted we have played 2 more games than the Flyers) with 8 games remaining. We are the hottest team in hockey right now and I like the way things are shaping up as we head into the playoffs. This is probably the best I have ever felt about the Caps going into the playoffs. I truly believe we are ready to make a push. I think we have found the right balance between offense and defense. I also feel like we have the right mix between young and veteran guys. I believe the success these guys had in the regular season last year coupled with the HUGE disappointment of being bounced in the opening round of the playoffs has helped this team mature and get them to realize what it takes to win in the playoffs. As long as the team can stay healthy, I expect a deep run into the playoffs. Anything short of the conference championship would be a tremendous failure. Frankly, I expect to win the Cup but at a minimum we need to get to the conference championship.
UNLEASH THE FURY!!!