It was a tale of two streaking teams: the Anaheim Ducks, winners of eight of their last 10, and the Washington Capitals, losing ground in the Southeast Division seemingly daily. Alexander Semin changed all of that quickly on Wednesday night, however.
After scoring his first goal since late November, Semin exploded for two more as the Capitals several one-goal deficits and a two-goal deficit to frustrate Anaheim, 7-6. Semin's a vital cog in the Capitals' offensive attack, obviously. It's his fourth hat trick this season, but that just goes to show you how hot he was to start the year. If this game can be the propeller that kicks him into gear, the Capitals will certainly be thankful.
Washington was able to grab two important points in this one thanks to a return to their old style. They seemingly shedded their new-found defensive style and reverted to a bit of river hockey. Japers' Rink explains.
This wasn't one of those tight-checking, play-it-safe Canadian Percentage hockey games we've grown accustomed to seeing the past few weeks from the Caps. This was firewagon hockey, with 100-foot passes, blown assignments, crazy bounces, odd-man breaks and intense forechecking. While fans have clamored for the Caps to go back to this Run-n-Gun style, I am not sure the Caps have the right defensive personnel to play this type of game on a nightly basis.
As for the Ducks, they were without starting goaltender Jonas Hiller in this one. He sat out with lightheadedness and has been placed on the injured reserve. He'll miss at least three games. Curtis McElhinney made 24 saves in place of Hiller. Seymon Varlamov was pulled after allowed three goals on nine shots in the first. Michal Neuvirth made nine saves on 12 shots the rest of the way.