Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
courtesy of bridgetds
The Caps carried their resurgent power play and a two-game winning streak into last night’s game against Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers. But they came undone through a combination of Philadelphia muscle and poor goaltending. A series of soft shots and deflections got past starting goalie Tomas Vokoun as the Caps fell to the Flyers 5-1.
In the first period, the Caps came out looking like a different team than a month ago. With a disciplined approach they took the action to the Flyers, maintaining the puck in the offensive zone for most of the period with strong physical play. The aggressiveness paid off when the Caps drew two power play chances. But the Caps failed to shoot the puck on the man advantage and were unable to score on Flyers’ netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. The Caps lost the momentum, and tide turned.
The Flyers, meanwhile, shot the puck at every opportunity. Scott Hartnell put Philadelphia ahead 1-0 when he beat Tomas Vokoun between the legs on a clear shot from the top of the faceoff circle after 16 minutes. “I don’t think we had that kind of energy and emotion we had before,” said captain Alex Ovechkin of the first goal. Continue reading →
‘Russia vs. Czech Republic’
courtesy of ‘s.yume’
A beat-up Capitals squad hit Nashville last night and stumbled out with a 3-1 loss to the Predators. Don’t let the score fool you; the game remained scoreless for over 55 minutes. Early in the third, Troy Brouwer wristed a perfectly-placed cross-ice pass from Marcus Johansson past Preds goalie Pekka Rinne and the game looked like it would finally break open in the Caps favor. Thirty seconds later, Martin Erat solved Tomas Vokun and it went downhill from there. Colin Wilson’s game-winning goal came with less than 30 seconds on the clock, and Shea Weber’s empty netter five seconds later was the nail sealing the coffin.
- Tomas Vokoun was stellar for most of the evening. Stopping 28 of 30 shots, he was in top form with some specatular saves.
- The Caps second line (Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin) accounted for 14 of the Caps 40 shots.
- Marcus Johansson and Cody Eakin continue to shine on the third line.
- The power play went 0-for-3; the team has the 7th-best power play in the league.
- The Caps are now 1-3-1 in their last 5 and 3-5-1 since their red-hot start.
- The team dominated through two solid periods but once Brouwer’s goal tallied in, it seemed like there was a complete shift in tone. Erat’s tying goal came when the Caps thought there was an offsides but with no whistle, the Predators played on. As a result, Erat scored. The Caps never seemed to recover from that momentary lapse and the Preds made the most of it.
“I think guys are as upset as I’ve seen,” said Mike Knuble. “That was frustrating. We really battled to get that lead. They tied it right away, but the least we should have done was force overtime.”