Caps Lose Wild West Shootout

Ovechkin Races for Puck
Ovechkin Races for Puck
courtesy of Clydeorama

When two high octane teams meet, goals will be scored. The Capitals got off to a slow start against the host Vancouver Canucks, then rallied to tie it after two periods, but were outgunned in the third to lose 7-4. Alex Ovechkin had a pair of goals to lead the Caps’ offense, but it wasn’t enough against the Stanley Cup finalist Canucks.

After a terrible first period by the whole team, Bruce Boudreau pulled Tomas Vokoun for Michal Neuvirth, not because Vokoun was playing poorly but because the team needed a wake-up call. This seemed like a good move in the second period when the Caps came alive to tie the game at 4-4. But Neuvirth looked shaky in the third period, allowing three goals on the first five shots.

Poor puck control in the defensive zone and a relentless Vancouver forecheck cost the Caps a couple of goals. Recent call-up Sean Collins and Jeff Shultz combined for numerous turnovers, miscues and broken plays. Mike Green, get well soon.

As I mentioned in my last post, Vokoun does not handle the puck well behind his net. Last night it lead directly to the first goal as Maxime LaPierre stole the puck then banked it off Vokoun’s leg into the goal.

Penalties were a major problem for the Caps all night. The Caps found themselves on the penalty kill five times, and Vancouver converted on three of them. The Canucks have too many weapons for a performance like that.

Speaking of weapons, 39-year-old Mike Knuble earned a penalty shot after being pulled down on a breakaway. In perhaps the highlight of the game for Caps fans, Knuble beat Roberto Luongo to tie the game at 3-3.

The Caps return home for a game against the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night at Verizon Center.

Will Packard

Will moved to DC 33 years ago to go to college and never left. By day he is the director of finance at an interactive marketing agency near Dupont Circle. When not hanging out at Kettler Iceplex or Verizon Center, he can often be found out rowing on the Potomac River or searching for the perfect burrito.

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