Reuters - Sun, 07 Mar 07:54:00 2010
Jose Theodore shut out the New York Rangers to help the Washington Capitals extend their winning streak at home to a franchise record 13 games with a 2-0 victory.
The Capitals net-minder turned away 30 shots for his first shutout of the season and the 29th of his career.
"I thought he was great," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said of Theodore, who holds a 12-0-2 record in his last 14 starts.
"I thought he was by far our best player. Any time they were putting pressure on us, Jose would get it and he would stop it and he would not let a rebound go tonight and that's, I think, the key to his game.
"He's brimming with confidence and we hope he can keep it."
Eric Fehr scored a power play goal in the first period before Eric Belanger netted another just past the mid-point of the second period, his first since being acquired by Washington.
Theodore was tested early as the Rangers held sway in the opening 10 minutes and outshot Washington 12-9 in the first period.
Their early momentum was thwarted, however, by minor penalties 15 seconds apart that led to Fehr's opening goal.
The Caps goalie had a couple of close calls, the first coming in the second period after a giveaway by Washington defenseman Shaone Morrisonn to Brandon Dubinsky. Theodore deflected Dubinsky's shot from the slot with his blocker.
"I kind of froze a little bit when he faked the shot, but I didn't go down," said Theodore.
"That was obviously a key save. As a goalie, there is not a better feeling than when you bail one of your friends out of trouble like that."
Defenseman Mike Green then pitched in to protect Theodore's clean sheet, clearing a shot from the goalmouth during a penalty in the third period.
Washington has not lost at the Verizon Center since December 28 against the Carolina Hurricanes and are 25-3-3 at home this season, the best in the NHL.
The Capitals saw another streak end when they failed to score three or more goals for the first time in 23 games.
NHL results (home team in CAPS):
PITTSBURGH 6 Dallas 3
Boston 3 NY ISLANDERS 2
Toronto 2 OTTAWA 1 (SO)
WASHINGTON 2 NY Rangers 0
FLORIDA 4 Carolina 1
TAMPA BAY 6 Atlanta 2
PHOENIX 4 Anaheim 0
COLORADO 7 St. Louis 3
Montreal 4 LOS ANGELES 2
SAN JOSE 2 Columbus 1