Nightly Scrap: Caps rebound, rookie shines in debut

Updated: October 10, 2010 at 9:00 am by Alexander Monaghan

After last night’s showing, there is no doubt the Washington Capitals will be a powerhouse this season.

John Carlson, Alexander Semin, Alexander Ovechkin and Tomas Fleischmann all put together multi-point games as the Caps steamrolled the New Jersey Devils 7-2.  The team forced backup netminder Johan Hedberg to make his Devils debut, chasing Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur.

Jason Arnott scored for the second straight game but it appears the Devils’ defense really needs some work and Alex Urbom or Matt Taormina could be on a tighter leash.

Rookie Derek Stepan scored three goals and honestly could have scored five in his NHL debut.  More importantly, Stepan played on the third line with Ruslan Fedotenko and Sean Avery not the top line alongside Marian Gaborik.  Brandon Dubinsky also scored two and top line center Erik Christensen added a marker as the New York Rangers took down the Buffalo Sabres 6-3.

On the other end of the ice Derek Roy scored his third goal in the past two days and Jordan Leopold scored two goals of his own; over their first two games, only Roy and Leopold have accounted for their goals scored.  Tyler Ennis also added his third assist in two games.

The Boston Bruins showed up way too late for their game and lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2.  Wasting no time, Radim Vrbata scored two goals and three other forwards contributed as Ilya Bryzgalov got more than enough goal support.  The lone two tallies came from Nathan Horton, who seems to be the triggerman for the Bs.

Ethan Moreau put the San Jose Sharks away with an overtime goal, letting the Columbus Blue Jackets win their first game.  Kristian Huselius has put up three points over his first two games and Steve Mason won his fifth career start against the Sharks.  Head coach Scott Arniel truly believes that Mason has rebounded.

Another early season surprise, the Toronto Maple Leafs, rolled over the Ottawa Senators.  Tim Brent, Clarke MacArthur and Phil Kessel now both lead the team with two goals each.  Jean-Sebastien Giguere also looks very solid moving forward but the Leafs probably will have trouble scoring five every game.

After a deserved one game suspension Mike Cammalleri scored two goals and helped the Montreal Canadiens win their first game of the year.  Netminder Carey Price won his first game in a very fitting way– against the team he earned his first NHL victory.  Josh Gorges also put two assists on the board, which should be an anomaly.

The Dallas Stars and New York Islanders was a slugfest with eight total goals and then a shootout.  Multi-point games for Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow, Josh Bailey, Doug Weight and James Wisniewski.  Only the Dallas players really seem rosterable at this time, maybe Wisniewski if he replaces Mark Streit.

Mike Smith and the Tampa Bay Lightning took advantage of the Atlanta Thrashers and their tired lineup defeating them 5-3.  The combination of Martin St. Louis, Steve Downie and Steven Stamkos combined for a tidy six points and seemed to have started off right where they ended last season.  Ben Eager somehow put up two points in his less than 10 minutes but there should be much better options than him.

The Nashville Predators received a scare as starting goalie Pekka Rinne left the game after hitting his head in a collision.  Backup Anders Lindback came in for the final minutes of the game, expect an update on his status later.  Nevertheless, the Ducks got another poor performance from Jonas Hiller– who currently boasts a 4.00 GAA.  In typical Preds fashion the scoring was spread out with only the newly appointed captain posting two points.

Alex Steen got a chance to show off his playmaking ability by having a part in both St. Louis Blues’ goals.  After the team worked extensively on the powerplay, they seemed to click and Jaroslav Halak backstopped the team to a 2-1 victory.  In his season debut Brian Boucher turned aside 23 shots on goal.

Thanks to two goals from Valtteri Filppula, the Detroit Red Wings ruined the raising of the Stanley Cup banner in Chicago.  Starting veteran goalie Chris Osgood looked like a smart move as he made 26 saves and handed Marty Turco his second straight loss.  On the bright side Bryan Bickell seems to be clicking with his added ice time as he scored his second over the first two games.

Only 4:55 seconds separated Roberto Luongo from a shutout and a shootout loser.  After 65 minutes of a 1-1 game, the Kings took home the victory thanks to an excellent effort by starting goalie Jon Quick.  Justin Williams poked home a late third period powerplay goal to tie the game before both Anze Kopitar and Jack Johnson scored in the skills competition.  Good to see both goalies on their game so early in the season.

We hope you enjoyed our latest edition of Nightly Scrap, a daily column which discusses past games and their fantasy relevance. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @dailyfaceoff and let your voice be heard below.

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