Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette spoke to the media following Sunday’s 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena. He discussed goaltender Craig Anderson‘s strong game today and the team’s power-play success.
Anderson made his first start as a Capital this afternoon and notched his first win with Washington. “He played a really good game,” Laviolette said about the 39-year-old netminder. “He gave us a chance to win, especially early on. The first ten minutes we were a little slow out of the gate and then the next fifty minutes I thought we were pretty good, but he made some big saves.”
He felt the last 8-12 minutes of the first period the team played “pretty good”. “We clawed back into it, we outshot them…we drew the chances back to even…I thought they did a good job today, especially in a back-to-back scenario.”
Three of the four Capitals’ goals came on the power-play (forward T.J. Oshie twice and captain Alex Ovechkin). Laviolette said both special teams units “contributed” and had “nice plays”. He mentioned they were better on the two-minute advantage today than in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers. “Sometimes when your game is off, you find your power-play to be off as well…just where you’re at inside the game.”
On Oshie, Laviolette said he has been “a good player for us”. Oshie’s three-point game today marked his second three-point game of the season. Among Capitals players this season, Oshie’s two power-play goals are a single-game high. “He works hard, he’s got skill,” the head coach said, adding, “His game for me is fairly consistent. He plays an honest game [and] he’s pretty good defensively.”
“Both goalies have played well,” Laviolette said on Anderson and Vitek Vanecek. On Ilya Samsonov, who was placed on the taxi squad on Saturday, Laviolette said they are going to “continue to work” with him. “He is certainly a big part of our team and we want to make sure that when we put him in that he is in the right spot to do it and be successful.”
By Della Young