courtesy of clydeorama
As unlikely as it may have seemed nine days ago, the Washington Capitals have defied the odds, shaken off some stinging recent defeats and secured a place in the Stanley Cup playoffs starting next week.
The Caps defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 last night at Verizon Center before a raucous sellout crowd. Washington took an early 3-0 lead, survived a mid-game rally by Florida, then played aggressively down the stretch. Combined with the Buffalo Sabres’ loss in Philadelphia a few minutes earlier, Caps fans were able to celebrate their team’s success in the final home game of the regular season. Continue reading
courtesy of Brian Isemann
The Washington Capitals dropped another game in their latest skid, losing to Southeast Division rival (and current leader) Florida. The Panthers held off a late-game rally by the Caps for a 5-4 victory and now lead Washington in the division by seven points.
The loss is the team’s ninth out of their last 12, and third in four games under new coach Dale Hunter.
- The Caps played a solid 20 minutes. In the third period, but still – they almost pulled out a win.
- Jason Chimera’s scoring touch continues; he tipped in a John Carlson shot with 1:44 remaining in the game, sparking some spirited (but fruitless) Caps play. Mike Knuble, Cody Eakin, and Brooks Laich also scored. Captain Alex Ovechkin had four…hits.
- The Caps held Florida to six shots on goal in the final frame.
- Penalties. The Caps got a lot of them early, and Florida capitalized with 3 PPGs in the game.
- The Caps power play is now 2 for 50 in the last 13 games. They failed to convert the two chances they had last night.
- The team continued its inconsistent play, waking up only in the third period and putting in a solid effort to force a comeback. Too little, too late.
Brooks Laich (via Tarik El Bashir): “It’s not acceptable to play hockey for 20 minutes and not execute for the other 40. We’re not here to try, we’re to win.”
courtesy of ‘bridgetds’
The Capitals are not playing pretty hockey.
But, when it comes to end results, it has been effective hockey.
The first period against the Panthers on Saturday night at Verizon Center was atrocious. Washington played a cute but ultimately inefficient style of hockey for the first 20 minutes before grinding through the final two periods to seal a 3-2 victory over Florida.
For most of the night actually, the Capitals were almost laughably bad. Drop passes turned into self-zone clears. Back passes turned into partial Panther breaks and rushes. Giveaways were rampant (12 on the night against the Panthers three) and play was overall sloppy. It was not one of the beautiful games.
‘Vokoun Keeps the Puck Out’
courtesy of ‘clydeorama’
The Florida Panthers came to town last night with a losing record but a hot goalie. The latter proved to be the difference. Florida netminder Tomas Vokoun turned away all 36 shots to earn a shutout on the way to a 3-0 victory over the listless Caps last night at Verizon Center. The Caps dropped their fourth straight contest, going 0-8 on the power play. It was the first time the Panthers had won a game in regulation in nearly three weeks.
Washington dominated play in the first period, outshooting Florida 18-6. The Caps had five straight power plays in the first period – including nearly two minutes of 5-on-3 action – but were unable to slip one past Vokoun. As well as Vokoun played, however, the Capitals’ power play lacked energy, with players content to pass the puck around the perimeter and very little presence in front of the net. The best opportunity came when Alex Ovechkin took a shot from 30 feet and beat Vokoun cleanly on the glove side, only to watch the puck bounce harmlessly off the post. Failing to take advantage of opportunities doomed the Caps. “We had, I think, 20 minutes of power play” said Ovechkin. “We didn’t play how we have to play. We played so casual and you can see the results.” Continue reading