Well the Capitals outshot the Thrashers 36 - 12 (the Thrashers lowest shot total all season) but Kari Lehtonen and Mark Recchi had good games. The Caps played a tight game to be sure (one of the Thrashers two goals was an empty nettter) but they just couldn't keep the momentum long enoungh to "capitalize" on what was otherwise a reasonably solid effort. That said, the Caps also didn't "swarm enoungh" around Lehtonen and force any rebounds he didn't otherwise want to yield. To be sure there seemed to be a reasonable energy level at the "Phone Booth" - the crowd was a good one - 17, 205 and they were into the game right up till the empty netter at 19:20 in the third period. The Thrashers outhit the Caps 30 - 23, the Caps hit leaders were Matt Bradley (4); Milan Jurcina (3); and Quintin Laing (3), though Defenseman Tom Poti, Jeff Shultz, and Mike Green didn't make a hit between them. Hit leaders for the Thrashers were Steve McCarthy (5); Bobby Holick (5); Ken Klee (4); Garnet Exelby (3); Marian Hossa (3); and Alexei Zhitnik (3).
Tonight was a game where everyone came to play but Mark Recchi and Kari Lehtonen were "game on" all night for the Thrashers and on the Caps side of the ice both Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom "brought it" all night as well. In the end the Thrashers smothering play and Lehtonen's excellent goaltending won the side. The Caps have been shutout two of their last three games despite mounting a reasonable offenesive charge in both those losses, however in both cases the opponents won out by having solid goaltending and keeping the Caps from swarming on rebounds and/or their powerplay. The Caps next two games are on the road in Columbus on Tuesday against the Blue Jackets and in Philadelphia on Wednsday agaist the Flyers. The Blue jackets are 16-8-4 so far this season at Nationwide Arena and will be coming off tonight's 4-1 home loss against the Northwest Division leading Minnesota Wild; the Flyers are 13-7-5 so far this season at Wachovia Center after blanking the Anaheim Ducks tonight 3-0 in Philadelphia. The Flyers play the Thrashers on Tuesday Night in Atlanta before meeting the Caps at home on Wednsday. LETS GO CAPS!!!!!