Caps drop their fourth straight, 6-4 to Ottawa
THE GAME TURNED WHEN… The Ottawa Senators scored twice in the second period after the Caps took a 3-1 lead in the first intermission. So far this season, the Caps have owned the second period. Not tonight. They were blanked 2-0 and outshot an embarrassing 19-3. Just a poor second period effort.
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN… Zack Smith buried the game winner just 1:04 after John Carlson scored the equalizer at the 16:33 mark of the final period. It was a softie allowed by Braden Holtby and should have been a glove save.
THE GOOD… The first period. Caps out shot the a Senators 18-11 and took a 3-1 lead in intermission. It as a solid period of hockey. Unfortunately, no one played well in the second period, a pure lackluster effort.
THE BAD… Penalties and penalty killing. The Caps had trouble staying out of the penalty box and the Senators made them pay for it. The Caps permitted the man advantage five times and the PK unit allowed three power play goals for the Senators. For the Caps, they have now allowed a power play goal in sex consecutive games. That doesn’t equate to wins. Washington also lost the battle at the face off winning 32 face-off a compared to 44 for the Senators. Caps also allowed 16 giveaways compared to Ottawa allowing 7.
THE FIGHTS… Tyler Stachan and Aaron Volpatti played boxers for the Caps tonight. Strachan fired some nice punches in on Chris Neil after defending fellow defenseman Nate Schmidt. Strachan went right after Neil after a hard hit on Schmidt into the boards. Volpatti roughed it up with Colin Greening and got some nice punches to the face in on Greening. That fight occurred in the second period.
THE STUDS… Two unlikely sources. Brooks Laich, who has gotten off to a very slow start, played well tonight, scoring his fourth goal of the season on a backhander right in front of Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson. Laich had three shots on goal, a blocked shot, and a hit. Eric Fehr appeared in his first game in a few weeks and answered with his second goal,of the season, the first of the game for the Caps. John Carlson rescued the Caps late in the third period just three seconds into the third period tootsie the game at 4-4. The lead did not last very long, but what a bomb from Carlson.
THE DUDS… The Caps penalties were killers tonight and the penalty killers were even worse, allowing three power play goals for the Senators. Mike Green would have been better off as a healthy scratch tonight. Little about his performance was inspiring. Braden Holtby allowed too many softies tonight. He didn’t help out his poor defense and penalty kill unit. Only three shots on goal and no points for the Great 8, Alex Ovechkin, tonight.
THE MISSING IN ACTION… Martin Erat was a healthy scratch after asking the Capitals for a trade. Hardly surprising. Steve Oleksy and John Erskine were additional scratches on defense.
ANOTHER REQUEST…Just a day after Martin Erat requests a trade from the Caps, GM George McPhee gets another call. This time it was a call from the agent of prospect Dmitry Orlov, asking the Caps trade him as well. Orlov is a 2009 draft pick by the Caps and is just 22 years old. His progress has been slow, but he has progressed this season. He has been a five time recall this season from Hershey without receiving any NHL ice time. McPhee will likely not be as willing to deal the 22 year old prospect like he will with Erat.
AND IT ALL MEANS … The Washington Capitals are struggling. For the first time this season, the Caps have lost four consecutive games. They allowed Ottawa their first win at the Verizon Center since 2006. The Caps power play was once the top
scoring unit in the NHL. They were 2-4 tonight, which is pretty good, but the unit is not playing as well as earlier in the season. The penalty kill unit is really struggling. They have now allowed a man advantage goal in six straight games and permitted three goals tonight. With the loss, the Caps fall to 12-12-2. They remain five points out from Pittsburgh, which is tied with Toronto tonight, 5-5. Caps have got to get much better defensively and stop committing stupid penalties.