Down a number of players to injury and illness, the Capitals came into Monday night’s game against the San Jose Sharks desperately needing a win to stay relevant in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. Unfortunately, despite getting several goals from unlikely sources, the Caps were easy dispatched by San Jose and fell further behind in the playoff race.
The night started off on a strange note with the news that minor league goalie Braden Holtby had been called up to start in net, in place of Michael Neuvirth, who lost to the Rangers on Sunday, and Tomas Vokoun, who has been sick with the flu.
Things only got weirder from there. As JP from Japers Rink mentioned in his Monday article, although it may not seem like it, according to one statistic, the Caps have actually been getting a fair amount of “puck luck” recently. Monday night, however, that was certainly not the case.
The Sharks first goal came from behind the blue line as a Joe Pavelski shot took a couple of weird bounces and caromed past Braden Holtby. The Sharks scored two more goals before a Dmitry Orlov blast from long-range trickled over the goal line as the second period expired.
The Caps added goals from Roman Hamrlik and Jeff Schultz, but couldn’t keep pace as the Sharks scored a number of their own. Although the score was somewhat close on paper, the Caps were handily outplayed, and looked lost, often having trouble maintaining possession in the offensive zone or even moving the puck through the neutral zone.