The Washington Capitals surge continued, this time led by a different sort of Russian duo, Victor Kozlov and 20 year old goalie Simeon Varlamov.
Varlamov, making his second career NHL start, was again dazzling. If Bruce Boudreau truly wanted to see if his stellar performance last week against Montreal was a fluke (which we know better), he got his answer last night. Varlamov stopped 29 of 31 shots to earn his second consecutive win in just his second NHL game. What strikes me is the composure and judgment the kids shows in net. The type of character Varlamov is proving to be is stuff you simply can’t teach. You either have it, or you don’t. Varlamov has it.
He doesn’t get flustered, he doesn’t back down, and he is nimble and quick. There were a few bursts by the St. Louis offense where Varlamov got pounded in the net, but he stood strong, composed, and made some brilliant saves. If these first two games are any indication of what the Capitals are getting in Varlamov, the goal tending is in great hands for years to come.
Meanwhile, the other Russian, Victor Kozlov, led the capitals offense with 2 goals and an assist for a three point night. Kozlov scored the only goal of the first period, putting a nasty shot above the shoulder of young, tall Goalie Ben Bishop. The goal was assisted by Nicklas Backstrom.
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