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декабря 2008 года.
Varlamov survives a close shave // The Washington Times
There was a lot of wayward shaving cream in the Washington Capitals' locker room Saturday night.
Donald Brashear gave Sergei Fedorov a face full to celebrate his 39th birthday, but the salute Alex Ovechkin administered to a kid nearly half Fedorov's age was the most significant.
Simeon Varlamov turned aside 32 shots in the Caps' 2-1 victory at Bell Centre, and the 20-year-old Russian earned some shaving cream-filled hair and red eyes to commemorate the occasion.
"He was pretty good, eh?" coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Nerves of steel - he rose to the occasion. ... We couldn't ask for anything more - it was really cool"
The Caps recalled Varlamov on Friday, but the Hershey Bears were in Texas on a road trip. Varlamov's plane from Houston didn't land at Reagan National Airport until 6:40 p.m., and he arrived late for the team's game against visiting Ottawa.
Washington selected the netminder with its second pick in the first round of the 2006 draft (No. 23, which the Caps acquired in a trade with Nashville for Brendan Witt). Last season, Varlamov was the No. 1 goaliefor Yaroslavl in the Russian Super League; he helped the team to the league championship series.
This year, he owns a 10-3-0 record with the Bears, a .909 save percentage and a 2.34 goals-against average, which ranks seventh in the AHL and second among rookies.
"It was great for me because it was pretty tough to concentrate before the game," Varlamov said through an interpreter. "It was a really tough game, but I'm glad to have won today."
As for the shaving cream surprise from Ovechkin, Varlamov didn't need any translations.
"He's a funny guy," he said.
Michael Nylander provided the winning goal with 2:32 left. Nylander, who hadn't scored in 26 games, put a shot off Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak's left skate from the side of the net. Alexandre Giroux fired a one-timer near the left faceoff circle that Halak couldn't field cleanly. The puck landed at Nylander's skates, and he backhanded it off the goalie while defenseman Roman Hamrlik shoved him to the ice.
"Obviously, at the beginning you don't think about it, but then the drought gets longer and longer," Nylander said. "I think this was the longest one of my career. I've had chances, but I haven't been able to put one in."
The victory was not without a price. Center Nicklas Backstrom left in the third period with a migraine headache. Fedorov and defenseman Tyler Sloan missed the third with undisclosed injuries.
Backstrom scored the game's first goal midway through the first period. Nine seconds after Ovechkin was in the middle of a fracas in front of the Montreal net that resulted in a penalty on Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges, Ovechkin fired a shot on net from the left point and Backstrom scored his 10th of the season on his second rebound attempt.
The goal gave Backstrom 100 career points; the assist increased Ovechkin's total to 350.
It was a chippy contest almost from the outset, with Brooks Laich fighting Montreal defenseman Ryan O'Byrne less than five minutes in. Relaxed standards by the officials allowed the rough stuff to escalate throughout the second period, with each team trading big body checks and often retaliatory attacks without a whistle.
With the Caps short a man, a hit on David Steckel along the boards finally set off a melee in front of the penalty boxes. Penalties were assessed to Montreal's Alex Kovalev and Tom Kostopoulos and Washington's Tyler Sloan, setting up a four-on-four situation.
Eleven seconds later, the Canadiens tied the score. Montreal broke in with a quick three-on-two and Patrice Brisebois ripped a slap shot from the top of the right circle over Varlamov's shoulder at 15:25.
Still, despite losing three players and with a 20-year-old rookie making his NHL debut in net, the Caps escaped with their third straight win and fifth in six games.
"It was a good hockey game for us," Laich said. "We showed we can win in a hostile environment. It was the second game of back-to-backs, but guys played hard tonight. ... Knowing we have a day off [Sunday], we were emptying the tanks tonight and we're happy with the win".