There were moments early in Wednesday’s game where it appeared as though the New York Rangers would become the latest team to get off to a hot start against the Capitals.
Washington withstood the early push, thanks to a few lucky bounces and also some necessary stops by Tomas Vokoun. The veteran goaltender finished with 31 saves in the Capitals’ 4-1 win over the Rangers in a confidence-building performance for both Vokoun and the team.
“It’s nice to have a win and have a good game definitely,” said Vokoun, who knows better than to put too much stock into one game. “Saying that, next game is going to start 0-0, you don’t get anything for free in this league. But it’s good for me after awhile [without a start] . . . just control what you can control and worry about what you can control.”
Early in the first against New York, with the game still scoreless, Vokoun dove to his left and managed to smother Artem Anisimov’s shot with his paddle and outstretched arm. Less than two minutes after that stop, Marcus Johansson scored to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.
As the game pressed on, Washington would get a few more bounces and Vokoun would make a few more key stops including a few on opportunities that Alex Ovechkin said he was glad to have the backup.
“He’s battled through that, everybody know he’s a great goalie,” Ovechkin said. “When you feel good about your goalie and you know him going to make the save — especially when I make couple mistakes on the power play in the third period — he make unbelievable save he win the game [Wednesday].”