With Chris Clark not on the trip, Ovechkin had the captain's 'C'.
NHL.COM, Sept. 29, 2008:
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Nylander set up two second-period goals and MVP Alex Ovechkin added a what proved to be a game-winning short-handed tally early in the third as the unbeaten Washington Capitals held off the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight preseason victory.
Ovechkin, who scored 65 goals last season, got his third goal in two preseason games on a 2-on-1 rush with David Steckel. Ovechkin carried the puck into the zone, sent a cross-ice pass to Steckel and then dunked the return pass with Weekes out of position.
Johnson made 13 saves in the scoreless first period, with his best being a snapping glove save on Fedor Fedorov, whose brother Sergei was given the night off by Boudreau.
Ovechkin got a GWG, +0 and his ice time was 24:52 (Power Play 08:29, Short Handed 01:33, Even 14:50), only Mike Green had more ice time (26:15)
Fedor Fedorov had 1 assist, +1, and 14:29 of ice time.
Corey Masisak, TWT:
Sure, it is just the preseason but the Caps continue to roll through the exhibition season, knocking off the Devils 3-2 at The Rock. Alex Ovechkin and David Steckel hooked up for a nifty shorthanded give-and-go 27 seconds into the third period. There was some debate about whether it was a pass or muffed shot by Steckel, but he told me afterwards the puck was in his skates and he had no chance to shoot it, so it was a pass all the way.
Other notes from the night:
- Bruce Boudreau said Viktor Kozlov is fine. He felt his groin tightening up, so the Caps gave him the quick hook.
- Boudreau wasn't too happy with the long shifts the Alexes were taking once they were paired together on the top line.
- Boudreau on Michael Nylander: "I think he's a little bit on a mission himself. Here's a guy who got  points two years ago and then he gets hurt and he misses the last half of the year and the team succeeds without him. He's come in here and said, 'I am a good hockey player. I am one of the elite guys in the NHL,' and he was two years ago when we signed him."
- Donald Brashear had a lengthy tilt with Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (say that three times fast) in the third period, which ended with both players standing, but he clearly felt he was the victor.
- With Chris Clark not on the trip, Ovechkin had the captain's 'C'.
- Boudreau expressed dismay over Ovechkin and Semin taking long shifts. For the game, Ovechkin averaged 1:18 and Semin averaged 1:10. The ideal shift is about 45 seconds.
- More good news for the Caps: Nicklas Backstrom appeared to be most recovered from his sprained right ankle. He skated on the first line with Ovechkin and Semin (who replaced Kozlov on the top unit).
"There were a few situations where it felt a little weird," Backstrom said of his ankle. "But it's okay. It's going to be like this for a few weeks or a month. I just have to do the best I can."
- The announced attendance was 8,536, though it was probably half that at The Rock.
- Donald Brashear got into a prolonged, bloody bout with Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (that's one person, in case you're wondering). Both combatants landed their share of blows, but since P.L.L.L. had blood streaming from his scalp afterward, I guess Brash won the decision.
He would probably agree with that assessment since he dusted off his hands (in the direction of the Devils' bench) as he headed to the penalty box.
Update from Japer's Rink:
Fire&Ice, NJ Blog on Leblond:
For Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, it was about doing his job. But, as a French-Canadian from Levis, Quebec, the Devils rookie enforcer admitted his third period fight with Washington's Donald Brashear also meant something more than that to him.
"The guy is from Quebec-City, he's a French-Canadian and I've been watching him growing up and now I'm here fighting him," Leblond said after tonight's 3-2 preseason loss to the Capitals at Prudential Center. "It's kind of special."
Leblond ended up with a four-stitch cut on the back of his head (left side), but held his own pretty well in a fight with one of the NHL's toughest heavyweights. Although Brashear won the bout, Leblond landed a few pretty good shots and earned Brashear's respect enough that the Caps winger gave him a couple of pats on the rear end when it was over.
"All game long he was asking me if I was tough, in French," Leblond said. "He said, 'good fight.'"
By Rich Chere, NJ.com, "Tired Devils get a day off"
"We're trying to see what guys can do," Sutter explained. "Sometimes we put young kids out against experienced players like (Alex) Ovechkin's line. Just to see how they respond to it. When you're behind the bench, you're thinking of all these scenerios how we can help these kids in their development. What will help them down the road and what they can expect down the road."