The Washington Capitals lost to Dallas last night, the victims of a Texan robbery. With only 7 seconds to go, defenseman John Carlson’s shot looked like it would sent the game into overtime just as Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins and Caps winger Alex Ovechkin got tangled up and plowed into Stars goalie Andrew Raycroft. The referee blew the whistle and waved off the goal, saying that Ovechkin had interfered with Raycroft.
Replay showed that the puck entered the net when Raycroft was already down; he’d not even seen Ovie. “All I saw on the play was Skrastins’ butt. I couldn’t see a thing. I didn’t see the puck go in.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau was livid enough that the Caps received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. “What do you want me to say that I can’t get fined for?” Boudreau said to the media. “I mean, if you look at the call, Ovi doesn’t touch the guy. Their guy slides into the goalie and takes him out of the play, and the one ref is telling me Ovi’s in the paint.
“I want to know when that rule changed that you can’t be in the paint, when you don’t touch anybody and you don’t interfere with anybody. … It cost us two points. It’s a bad call. Refs make bad calls, but at that time of the game, when you’re down by one, you better be sure something is happening.”
Raycroft stopped 37 of the 38 shots sent his way in the Stars’ 2-1 win. Washington’s lone tally was a power play goal from Mike Knuble in the third period, who expertly slipped the puck in low off a great cross-ice pass from Mike Green.
Ovechkin refused to comment on the snafu at the end of the game but was pretty candid about the Caps play in the loss. “They played hard, we played hard. They had too many power plays and we don’t [sic],” he said. “We dominated the first period and they had too many power plays in the second period. They just controlled the second period. And in the third period, we bounced back, we scored a goal, but the referee didn’t recognize it.”
New acquisition Scott Hannan debuted with an interference penalty and 19:02 of ice time, of which nearly five minutes came on the penalty kill.
The Caps are back at home on Saturday to face a hot Atlanta team; puck drops at 7 pm.