Caps Blast Blackhawks, 6-2, in Pre-Season Game

September 23, 2009 | Ed Frankovic

The Caps knocked off the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-2, on Wednesday night at the Verizon Center. I was unable to attend the contest so if you want a couple of good takes on it click here as well as here. Also, below are some bullets on the game and some post game quotes from Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Knuble, and Head Coach Bruce Boudreau courtesy of the Caps outstanding Media Relations department:

* Mike Knuble scored two goals 2:16 apart in the first period; he leads the Caps with three goals in the preseason.
* Alex Ovechkin assisted on Knuble’s second goal of the game to register his first point of the preseason and added two goals in the second period.
* Nicklas Backstrom registered two assists tonight to tie Alexander Semin for the lead on the team with four assists and tie for second in the NHL (entering tonight’s game). Backstrom also scored a power-play goal in the second period.
* The Capitals gave up their first power play goal in the second period. After starting the preseason 14-for-14 on the penalty kill, the Caps are now 17-for-19 (89.5%).
* Four Caps players recorded three points tonight – Knuble (2g-1a), Ovechkin (2g-1a), Backstrom (1g-2a) and Semin (3a).
* After scoring only one power play goal in the first three preseason games (1-for-12) the Caps scored three tonight – Knuble, Ovechkin and Backstrom – and are now 4-for-18 (22.2%).
* Defenseman Tyler Sloan recorded his first point of the preseason, a goal, in the second period.
* Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 shots and is now 2-0-0 with a 2.48 goals-against average in two preseason games.
* This is the Capitals first preseason game of the year that hasn’t been decided by one goal, with the first two games decided in overtime.

Capitals Forward Alex Ovechkin

On the addition of Mike Knuble …

“He’s great and you can see how he works. He’s good for us and we’re happy. We’re lucky we can get him here.”

On the defensive play in the contest …

“We had great defense. It was good. I think we were fresher than Chicago and this was the result.”

On the start of the regular season approaching …

“We still have one week and we still have to work. We still have to get ready for our game against Boston and two against Toronto.”

Capitals Forward Mike Knuble

On a seemingly easy transition to the Capitals …

“I think as a player, you’re never happy with your overall game. You always feel like you can do better – practice better and be a better all-around player. I can’t sit back now and say, ‘I got a couple of goals and figure everything is okay. I can just cruise now.’ You always want to work harder to never let the other guys down.”

On keeping the power play simple in tonight’s game …

“It looks nice to snap it around the outside, but you have to take it to the front of the net at times.  We had some pretty goals tonight, but that 5-on-3 goal we just bounced the puck across. It’s not going to be pretty all the time though. I think when you can back teams off with that fear of your skill … they aren’t going to know what to do. You’ve got to have middle presence and have shots at the net.”

On the skill of his Capital teammates …

“As a player, you’re excited playing with those guys because you know it’s coming anytime and they’re all gifted. The puck starts flying around and it’s spinning like a top down there. It’s got to come to the front of the net eventually though and you hope it hits your stick or something like that. Sometimes you don’t even see it coming. You just have yourself planted there.”

Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau

On getting the rust of out before the regular season…

“Every first game takes them (veteran guys) a little while to get into the flow. I thought those three guys (Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom) were a lot better today. And when they’re good, they’re pretty fun to watch. They’re a line that I don’t think will stay together for 82 games. But, when they’re on and not just looking for each other to be fancy, they’re a pretty unique, skilled line.”

On the play of Capitals forward Mike Knuble…

“He’s a meat and potatoes guy. Coaches love guys like that. He has a scoring touch. He goes to the net. It’s an element, other than Alex (Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin) that we really didn’t have last year. No disrespect to Feds or Viktor (former Capitals forwards Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov) but it’s something we haven’t had here in Washington.”

On the play of the Capitals defensemen…

“The 10 defensemen we have here are pretty good defensemen. All 10 are capable of playing regularly in the NHL.”

On the Capitals goaltending and the play of Semyon Varlamov…

“Varly’s (Varlamov) got a good chance of being here. I thought in the third period, Varly kept his head. He controlled the rebounds. It gave our guys a rest and [we were] able to get a line change.”

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