Corey Masisak: "Riley Cote basically jumped Donald Brashear to coax him into fighting right after Clark's goal".
Capitals Insider, Oct. 3, 2008:
Two days after suffering their first setback of the preseason in Philadelphia, the Caps rebounded by blowing out the Flyers, 5-1, at Verizon Center to improve to 5-1-0.
Alex Ovechkin (shorthanded), Chris Clark (on the power play), Nicklas Backstrom, Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr scored the Caps' goals. For Ovechkin, it was his fourth goal and second shorthanded tally of the exhibition season. Fleischmann also has four goals (three on the power play).
A few quick thoughts on tonight's tilt:
*Both of Ovechkin's shorties were assisted on by David Steckel. The reigning MVP took a game-high eight shots in 19:42 of ice time, 3:17 of which came shorthanded. Ovechkin's goal came on a wrister he fired through a Flyers' D-man's skates. Ovechkin also had a game-high four hits (tied with Donald Brashear).
It's still unclear whether Ovechkin will skate on the PK when the games count. But it's certainly something Coach Bruce Boudreau is considering at this point.
*Ovechkin set up Clark's goal with a deft pass to the captain, who was streaking into the Flyers' zone. J.S. Aubin stopped Clark's first shot, but the rebound kicked hard off the end boards and Clark scooped it up and stuffed it past the Philly goalie.
*Brashear squared off with Riley Cote in the second period. It looked like a draw to me, though Brashear ended up on top. In the third period, the two were assessed unsportsmanlike penalties for jawing at one another. They also were given misconducts, which effectively diffused the situation before it escalated.
Sergei Fedorov was sharp in his first full game on the blueline since his days with the Columbus Blue Jackets. After taking the opening faceoff, he slid back to the blueline. He skated 17:30 on the night (a figure that’s a bit lower than what he’ll see back there if this experiment stretches into the regular season), picked up two assists and was a plus-3 for the evening.
Alex Ovechkin started the Caps’ scoring spree with a shorthanded goal from David Steckel at 15:00 of the first period. It was Ovechkin’s second shorthanded goal in as many games, and Steckel provided the help on both.
Prior to his shorthanded strike on Monday against New Jersey, Ovechkin had gone nearly two and a half years (March 2, 2006) since scoring a shorthanded goal.
Caps Forward Alex Ovechkin:
On his shorthanded goal…
“It’s just my style. I want to play every situation. I just trust coach and I try to play simple. When I have a chance to shoot the puck, I shoot it. It was not beautiful goal, but it was a goal.”
On how the team played tonight…
“I feel good. It’s a preseason game but it’s good for me. I feel better and better everyday. I think the whole team right now feels pretty good. All the guys played hard, they don’t want to lose no matter what game and what team, preseason or regular.”
Caps Forward/Defenseman Sergei Fedorov:
On playing the blue line…
“It [playing defense] worked out good today. I was still nervous. It was good to play in a real game, with some real intensity out there.”
“You get in a good rhythm with only six defensemen since you are out there every other shift or every third shift. The second period was a little slow for me, but in the first and third I felt pretty good.”
Caps Head Coach Bruce Boudreau:
On Fedorov playing the blue line...
“He looks like he’s in control. You can tell he’s a pretty good player. He made some great outlet passes, never panicked, made a couple mistakes, but overall, he passed for a guy who hasn’t played there in a long time. We might try him again Sunday. I don’t think he’s going to forget how to play center come Friday.”
On how Fedorov handled the assignment...
“He was way too excited. ‘I love it’ – was his exactly words. Slow down here, ya know. You’re my number two center, but anytime you can get that maneuverability. I love it – when center men can play wing - you can play the different positions. If you run into penalty or injury trouble, you can move guys around and not really lose a beat.”
On Ovie enjoying the PK role and putting the other team its heals...
“He’s learning he’s not bad at it either. We’ll continue with that experiment. I think it [puts other team on heals]. I don’t know if it does or doesn’t or if they’re thinking take advantage of him. We want to make sure we’re doing the right stuff in zone. The great penalty killing teams like Philadelphia and Detroit, when they get the puck they want to put the other teams on the defensive and go.”