Wins All Around for Caps Family of Teams!

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Posted February 10, 2013

Philipp Grubauer gets some help fending off the Binghamton Senators (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)

The Capitals organization tallied a hat trick tonight, even though none of their players managed the feat.  By 10PM EST on 9 February, all three teams associated with the franchise had recorded regulation wins.  Two of those were shutouts, and all three were backstopped by goaltenders in the Caps’ system.  This calls for photos and high-fives all the way around (but especially for the goalies).

From the Ground Up:

In the ECHL, the Reading Royals closed out their 5-game road trip with a 3-0 win over the Wheeling Nailers, with Rookie Pro Brandon Anderson in net (19 saves).

Brandon Anderson, now the #1 netminder in Reading.

Brandon Anderson, now the #1 netminder in Reading.

Stanislav Galiev (Vallorani, Champagne), Yannick Tifu (Kashirsky, Pope), and Nikita Kashirsky (Tifu, Pope) all lent their sticks to the win.

Stanislav Galiev winds up to take an epic snapshot.

Stanislav Galiev winds up to take an epic snapshot.

Stepping Stones:

In the AHL, the Hershey Bears defeated the visiting Binghamton Senators 4-3, with Philipp Grubauer holding down the fort and stopping 23 of 26 shots.

Philipp Grubauer makes a stop against the Binghamton Senators.

Philipp Grubauer makes a stop against the Binghamton Senators.

Captain Boyd Kane (LeBlanc, Almeida), Cam Schilling (Taffe, DiSalvatore), Jeff Taffe (Brouillette, Stoa), and Jon DiSalvatore (Taffe, McNeill) earned the Bears’ four goals.

Bears' Captain Boyd Kane scores the first goal of the night against the BSens.

Bears’ Captain Boyd Kane scores the first goal of the night against the BSens.

Top Tier:

Last, but not least, the Washington Capitals themselves tallied up a 5-0 win over the visiting Florida Panthers in a game with all kinds of “first of the season” milestones.  Third-year pro and first-year NHL regular Braden Holtby served as netminder for the event (27 saves).

Braden Holtby, who is again destined to be anointed the temporary "Chosen One" of Washington.

Braden Holtby, who is again destined to be anointed the temporary “Chosen One” of Washington.

Troy Brouwer (2 Goals, one from Carlson and one from Holtby), Joel Ward (Perrault, Fehr), Alex Ovechkin (Chimera, Ribeiro), and Mathieu Perreault (Schultz, Ward) piled them on for the Caps.

While Troy Brouwer was the star of the show, it's worth noting that Eric Fehr earned his first assist with the Capitals since March, 2011.  Welcome back, Fehrsie!

While Troy Brouwer was the star of the show, it’s worth noting that Eric Fehr earned his first assist with the Capitals since March, 2011. Welcome back, Fehrsie!

A Note of Optimism:

It’s easy, and probably sensible, to step back and point out that one win does not make a rebound when it comes to the Caps season.  However, both the Royals and the Bears are fairing much better in terms of their compete level in their respective leagues, which lends cautious hope when looking at next year and beyond.

While all teams look to their prospect pool in times of stress and poor performance, not every team has both an ECHL and AHL franchise that are currently sitting in playoff spots (Reading in #1 Eastern Conference, Hershey in #7 Eastern Conference).  Clearly, something is being done right.