Thursday, November 4, 2010

This Time, Inconsistent Caps Find A Way. Caps 5-4 Maple Leafs (SO)

             photo credit: Susan Walsh - AP
The inconsistency that has haunted the Washington Capitals of late again made an appearance at Verizon Center last night. This time however, the Capitals found a way to over come that and came away from their game with the Toronto Maple Leafs with the full 2 standings points. This pulls the Capitals into a tie for the Southeast Division lead with Tampa Bay, and a 3 way tie for the league lead in points in the NHL with Tampa and  the Los Angeles Kings of the Western Conference. The Caps could not put together a solid 60 minutes of good hockey again last night, allowing the opposition to score first for the 9th time in 12 games. They also allowed Toronto to come back from a two goal deficit in the third period to take the lead. The Capitals played fairly well in the first in spite of allowing the early goal, and had a great second period, outscoring their visitors 3-0 and looking like they had this one in hand. The penalty killing also held off 4 Leafs power plays, and the Caps were outshooting the Leafs 20-12 until about the 18:00 mark of the 2nd. But, there was the problem; it was only the second period. The Capitals came out flat in the third, and Toronto took advantage,  exploding for 3 goals in just a 3:03 span to come from down 3-1 at the start of the frame to take a 4-3 lead by the 7:17 mark.

photo credit: Susan Walsh - AP
It looked the another Capitals let down was going to cost them another game, and another 2 points. However the Capitals power play has begun to improve, and that continued last night scoring twice in 3 chances getting two timely goals. The first was Washington's first goal of the game from Mike Green, and the second was just as timely by Alexander Semin at 4:14 of the third period to tie the game up, and ultimately for overtime. At least this time the Caps did not give away a point to a divisional rival. It is worth noting that after being absent for much of the season, the Caps power play seems to have finally found its grove and has now converted on 5 of 8 chances in the last 2 games. We hope that trend continues as the Caps are going to need it to come away from games like tonight's game with the full 2 points. In spite of having the man advantage for 2 of the 5 minutes of the over time period, the Caps could not finish off the Leafs in the extra stanza. What they could not get done in the over time period however, the Caps finished off in the shootout. Michael Neuvirth held off both Toronto shooters, while both Alex Ovechkin and Semin found the twin behind Maple Leafs net minder Jonas Gustavsson to give the Caps the shootout win in front of another sellout crowd at the Phone Booth.  The Capitals also got goals from Jason Chimera and Tomas Fleischmann. While victory is sweet, it will be short lived as the Capitals play host to the Boston Bruins on Friday night. As always, Caps bench boss Bruce Boudreau had plenty of thoughts on last nights performance, so here is his post game presser:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Which team is the Capitals biggest threat in the Southeast division this season?