|Grubauer's 24 saves lead Capitals past Sharks 2-0
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|Autor:||aliciahuang [ 13 Mar 2018, 11:06 ]|
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Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves for his fifth career shutout and Nicklas Backstrom scored late in the second period to help the Washington Capitals salvage the final game of their California swing with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Washington was outscored 7-1 in losses to Anaheim and Los Angeles to open the trip before a narrow win in San Jose moved the Capitals one point ahead of Pittsburgh for first place in the Metropolitan Division, pending the Penguins' game in Toronto.
two goals short of 600 for Washington,Alex Ovechkin, was held scoreless for the third straight game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic thwarted one chance for Ovechkin to get goal No. 599 with a strong back check and goalie Martin Jones robbed Ovechkin on a partial breakaway midway through the third period to keep San Jose's deficit at 1-0.
Lars Eller's empty-net goal sealed the win for the Capitals.
The Sharks were unable to get anything past Grubauer and fell to 3-2 on their six-game homestand. San Jose failed on two power-play chances, falling to 1 for 32 with the man advantage over the past 14 games.
Jones made 24 saves for the Sharks but couldn't stop Backstrom's one-timer late in the second period after Washington appeared to enter the zone offside.
Brett Connolly found Backstrom alone in the faceoff circle and he beat Jones high to the glove side for his 17th goal of the season. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer didn't challenge for offside, and the goal stood.
The Sharks controlled play for much of the first period but were unable to turn that into goals as Timo Meier hit the post during a power play on San Jose's best opportunity. Tomas Hertl also hit the post on the power play in the second period as San Jose failed to take advantage of two penalties by Tom Wilson.
The Capitals took over in the second, outshooting the Sharks 12-3. That heavy pressure finally paid off late in the period with Backstrom's goal.
When the trade with the San Jose Sharks went down an hour before the NHL's Feb. 26 trade deadline, Danny O'Regan said the first people he heard from were some family members. The next two to text: Former Boston University linemates, and now current Buffalo Sabres teammates, Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues.
"They're both good friends and I knew they'd make me feel right at home since I got here," O'Regan said today after getting the call to join the Sabres from the Rochester Amerks. "They've been great so far. ... Jack called right away, too. So I talked to those guys and they were excited. And I was just as excited to be here."
The Sabres needed an extra forward after Kyle Criscuolo suffered a shoulder injury Monday against Toronto,Authentic Martin Jones jersey, and Rodrigues is still out with what's believed to be rib issues. Seth Griffith is returning to the lineup and O'Regan will be a healthy scratch for Wednesday night's game against the Calgary Flames in KeyBank Center.
"I could see him getting some games in the future here," coach Phil Housley said after the morning skate. "He's just a really good solid prospect for us and he's going to get an opportunity."
O'Regan knows there will be a lot of attention focused on his game because he's the lone current player acquired for Kane, Buffalo's top rental at the deadline. The Sabres also received two conditional draft picks.
"I try not to put that pressure on myself but I know because I'm part of the Evander Kane trade – it's not like it was a 1-for-1 deal – I definitely want to show the organization I can play hockey,Authentic Brent Burns jersey," he said. "I'm going to try to do my best, work hard,Authentic Alex Pietrangelo jersey, compete, play fast and create some offense."
O'Regan was the AHL Rookie of the Year last season after collecting 23 goals and 58 points for the San Jose Barracuda. He scored twice in his three games in Rochester after not registering a goal in 19 games with the Sharks.
"I was definitely surprised at the time of the trade. I wasn't really expecting it," he said. "I loved playing in San Jose. They're a great organization but I was really excited to start here. This organization has been just great so far. Rochester was a great week for me to get settled and get used to some of the systems how they want to play around here.
"I thought it was a good team. I liked the way they play. They play hard,Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko jersey, play fast. A lot of good guys in the room. It's hard hockey, creating a lot of offense so it's a fun system to be in."
The team recalled O'Regan from Rochester on Wednesday morning, but he won't be in the lineup when they host Calgary on Wednesday night in KeyBank Center.
The Sabres acquired O'Regan from San Jose at the Feb. 26 trade deadline as part of the deal for Evander Kane. O'Regan reported to Rochester and has two goals in three games with the Amerks.
O'Regan has proved he can produce in the American Hockey League. The winger has 32 goals and 85 points in 97 games during his two professional seasons. He was the AHL Rookie of the Year last season.
The 24-year-old is looking to find his groove in the NHL. He appeared in 22 games for the Sharks,Authentic Jake Allen jersey, recording one goal and four assists. The goal came last season, and all four assists came during his 19 games this year.
O'Regan played collegiately at Boston University and was on the same line as Sabres forwards Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues in 2014-15. Injuries to both players helped prompt the recall.
Rodrigues suffered an upper-body injury last week, leading to the summoning of Kyle Criscuolo from Rochester. He also suffered an upper-body injury,Authentic Carter Hutton jersey, leaving Monday's victory over Toronto, so Buffalo was in need of a forward.
Nielsen had concussion symptoms, so he’s been going through the protocol, and must pass the tests along the way before he’s ready to play again.
So to get back on the ice, be part of the team again, for one of the NHL’s most durable players, was very rewarding.
“It’s never fun,” said Nielsen of being hurt, and away from his teammates. “This was quick, but I’ve had a couple where I’ve been out longer and it’s really tough. When you’re not around the guys, you don’t really feel part of the team.
“This was hopefully, just a quick one, and I’ll be good to go to on the (West Coast) trip and be with them.”
Nielsen wasn’t feeling as good after being hit by Backes, who nailed Nielsen near the boards, high, with Nielsen’s head absorbing much of the impact. Backes was given a three-game suspension by the NHL for the hit.
“It didn’t look good” said Nielsen of the collision. “But he plays a physical game and I have no reason to believe he tried to hit my head like that. He plays a hard game and unfortunately he caught me the way he did.
“It happens sometimes.”
Nielsen had a “little bit of a headache” but never experienced other concussion symptoms such as sensitivity to light or dizziness.
“I’ve been OK, but we played it a little bit safe, just make sure there was nothing,” Nielsen said. “I can remember everything,adidas Martin Jones jersey, I haven’t had any memory loss.”
Nielsen took part in some drills Sunday, but will be kept away from any battle drills until, possibly,adidas Brent Burns jersey, Monday in San Jose for the morning skate.
“I went in (Saturday) with Piet (trainer Piet Van Zant) and had a good workout, it went well,adidas Alex Pietrangelo jersey, so he said let’s skate (Sunday) and see how that feels,” Nielsen said. “Sometimes when you have a lot of traffic in front of your eyes and stuff is going on, you can feel it.
“But it felt good again. I definitely hope I can play on this trip.”
There certainly will be opportunities,adidas Vladimir Tarasenko jersey, as the Red Wings complete what will be a rigorous stretch of 10 of 11 games on the road.
The Red Wings began this road stretch Friday in Columbus, but returned home, took a day off,adidas Jake Allen jersey, then practiced Sunday before heading to the airport.
This has been a rugged part of the schedule – everyone knew it would be when the schedule first came out – and with the playoffs unlikely, it can make the travel more of a grind.
“Nobody is going to be perfect, that’s the reality,adidas Carter Hutton jersey,” Blashill said. “Our job is to push for perfection and when you’re pushing for it you have that understanding that you’ll probably never going to reach it but you get to that highest level along the way.
“Our guys have done a good job of that. We have real good leadership in here and young guys who want to get better and keep working.”
Playing against teams who are all in the playoff hunt, and desperately need wins, should make for intense games.
“It’s great that we’re going to play against some teams that are in a mode where there’s a high level of urgency,” Blashill said. “They need to get points, we need to get points, so let’s make sure to go out there and make sure our urgency level is high.”
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