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Did someone forget to remind the Calgary Flames to suck this season? They stormed out of the gates to take a 3-0 lead on the Capitals chasing starter Braden Holtby just 16:22 into the game.
Holtby allowed three goals on 11 shots giving way to Michal Neuvirth who played splendidly the rest of the way stopping 27 of 28 shots as the Capitals came back for the shootout victory. Is this the start of another Caps goaltending controversy? It's not like Holtby as a long track record. Hopefully you have the Neuvirth handcuff if you are a Holtby owner and if not now may be a good time to search the waiver wire. I still believe in Holtby this season but you can't be too careful.
Back to Calgary – rookie center Sean Monahan registered his first career NHL point in just 11:40 of ice time. I think that he will literally have to score a point every game to stick with the big club this season.
David Jones scored a goal and saw over five minutes of power play time. Jones isn't a first-liner but if he continues to get first unit power play time he can be productive, at least until his next injury. Could be a smart pick up for the short-term however.
Mikael Backlund also saw nearly five minutes of power play time and notched an assist. This is a very positive development. I don't think Backlund has too much upside but he could sneak out a 60-point season if the minutes remain high.
Lee Stempniak is a first-liner on this team but only skated second unit power play minutes. He scored a goal and fired eight shots on goal Thursday night. Very solid depth guy for leagues that count SOG.
Not all was positive for Calgary as Sven Baertschi, a DobberHockey favourite, saw just 11:24 and went scoreless. Flames President Brian Burke blasted Baertschi in the media earlier this week for his effort and commitment, which is certainly not a positive sign for the youngster.
On the Capitals side, rookie Tom Wilson tried to justify his existence fighting Flames tough guy Lance Bouma. Wilson skated just 5:52 for the game and is almost certainly on his way back to junior.
Another Caps rookie had a much better night as defenseman Connor Carrick scored his first NHL goal with a nifty move on a breakaway. Carrick skated only 17:26 with no power play time but he looks like a keeper for sure, though he doesn't have much fantasy upside.
I swore I wouldn't mention the stars much but Alex Ovechkin had a