Capitals 5, Panthers 2
In what I am calling the Bertuzzi/Brashear series, the Caps come out early and survived the first of eight against Florida. Todd Bertuzzi and Donald Brashear never dropped the gloves (Brash almost did late in the third against Mike Van Ryn, but just deked then skated away). Capitals scored 5 first period goals that held for the win.
Even with the scoring spree against the starting Florida goaltender Alex Auld, the Caps couldn’t muster a goal in the second and third periods. The Caps Power-play was dismal (0-5). They cracked under the Florida penalty kill pressure and couldn’t set up much in the offensive zone.
On the flip side, the Caps penalty kill looked pretty good. However, the Panthers scored their two goals on the power play. The Capitals were able to kill a 1:30 2-man advantage but were not able to gain any offensive spark after the long kill.
Overall Grade: 1st Period: A, 2nd and 3rd Periods: C-
Scoring is too sporadic. The Caps must work on their consistency when it comes to scoring goals. The fact that Alex Ovechkin has only scored 2 goals in 6 games concerns me. As it does, I am sure, for Glen Hanlon as well. Ovie needs to shake out of the rut of shooting 15-20 foot shots from the outside (all high save percentage shots).
Details, details, details, and Wash Post has them. The Caps play the Thrashers in Atlanta tomorrow night. Caps need to play a stringy defense, and the goal scorers have to get pucks to the net.