On a power play late in the second period, Capitals winger Alexander Semin delayed his shot from the left faceoff circle long enough to make sure that big Zdeno Chara would be screening Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. While the timing was superb, it was the wrist shot that was impeccable, a laser to the top right corner – over Thomas’s glove hand – that the netminder had no hope of stopping.
There are not many players in the NHL who can make that shot. So few that teammate Brooks Laich wouldn’t even hazard a guess at how many could do it.
“I don’t know,” Laich said. “I’m just glad we have one that can.”
Semin’s tally stood as the game winner in Washington’s 2-1 victory. It was Semin’s second power-play goal in as many games, but the Russian winger didn’t want to comment on possibility of his hitting a stride in this postseason.
“I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to discuss it,” Semin said through an interpreter. “We won this game and we just have to get ready for the next [game].
“I’ll just say that every game is different,” Semin said when asked about his goal. “You approach and play every game different. Today I just decided to shoot it. And I made the shot and I scored.”
While Semin didn’t want to say much about his tally or recent performances, his teammates didn’t hesitate.
“Well, it was pretty good shot. I don’t think some goalie have a chance after that shot, because he get a screen and right in the goal,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “It was sick goal and it was important goal for us, especially end of the second period to get the lead.”
Said Laich: “I think he’s playing great. He gets us going with a power-play goal last game, he scores again tonight, another power-play goal. Alex has game-breaking abilities.
“I don’t think the criticism in the past has been really justified. He’s playing great for us right now. He’s moving his feet and he’s getting chances, and when he does that and gets enough looks, he’s got a good enough shot he’s going to score.”
— Ovechkin only played 1 minute 58 seconds in the third period, and it was unclear after the game whether the star left wing was limited in the final frame because of an injury or simply held back while Coach Dale Hunter gave more defensive-oriented players significant ice time. No other Capitals player saw less than 2:56.
— For those who didn’t notice, there was a clock malfunction late in regulation. Here is the statement from Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations.
“With 9.5 seconds remaining in the third period, there was a stoppage and resulting face-off in the Washington zone. During the stoppage, the game clock operator and Series Manager determined that 0.9 seconds should have been added to the time remaining in the third period and attempted to contact the on-ice officials to delay the puck drop to accommodate making the necessary clock adjustment to 10.4 seconds remaining.
“The off-ice officials were not able to attract the attention of the referees or linesmen despite sounding the horn, which was not audible due to crowd noise, and the puck was dropped.
“The NHL Situation Room in Toronto immediately was aware that the clock had not started for 5.3 seconds after the face-off and, therefore, would have disallowed a goal scored with 5.3 seconds or less showing on the clock.”
More on the Capitals:
— Game story: Holtby hunkers down as Caps win, 2-1
— Shot chart: Track every goal and shot of the series
— Alzner: Holtby’s rebound a ‘very veteran-like response’