Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A ONE-point night -- Game 43: Panthers 4 - Caps 3 (OT)

The Washington Capitals earned a standings point last night against the Florida Panthers, falling in overtime to the home team, 4-3, when Panther defenseman Dennis Wideman took advantage of the old Capitals bugaboo – an inability to clear the puck from their own zone – to wrist the game-winner past goalie Michal Neuvirth’s glove on a power play at 2:51 of the extra frame.

Other stuff…

-- On the one hand, the Caps mounted a furious comeback after falling behind 3-0 less than 27 minutes into the game.

-- On the other hand, the Caps looked sluggish in the first period, getting outshot 20-7.

-- On the one hand, the Caps killed off all three 4-on-5 shorthanded situations they faced.

-- On the other hand, the Caps allowed goals twice at 3-on-5 (some will no doubt say the luck ran out on that) and at 3-on-4 in the overtime to go 3-for-6 on the penalty kill.

-- On the one hand, the Caps drew five power play opportunities.

-- On the other, they converted none of them, despite getting nine shots on goal.

-- On the one hand, the Caps outscored the Panthers, 3-1, at even strength.

-- On the other, the Caps lost to the Panthers, 3-0, on special teams.

-- On the one hand, the guys you expect to get goals – Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom – had none on 14 shots on goal (although they did have three assists among them). It might be worth noting that the three of them recorded only a single shot on goal among them in the third period and overtime (Ovechkin).

-- On the other, Marcus Johansson had his first two-goal game in the NHL. It was the first time in nine games and only the second time in his last 19 contests that he had more than one shot on goal.

-- On the one hand, the Caps had 22 blocked shots among 11 skaters.

-- On the other hand, the Caps were out attempted, 68-49.

-- On the one hand, Brian Willsie skated only one shift in the third period…you might have expected that from a recent call-up from Hershey.

-- On the other hand, Mathieu Perreault skated only one shift in the third period, resulting in his lowest ice time number in a game he didn’t break his nose in the 16 games he has played this season.

In the end, the Caps preserved their streak of games of not losing in regulation (6-0-3). You could say that they let this one get away from them in overtime, but the seeds of this one were sown when they had to face 5-on-3 situations in the first and second periods, allowing goals on both. That, and not taking advantage of any of their own power play opportunities -- five of them in the first two periods.

On the one hand, the Caps did get that standings point, one that might come in handy down the road.

On the other hand, the Caps are still in fifth place and have to go to Tampa Bay tonight after going extra time to get that point.

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