Capitals 4, Lightning 5
Scoresheet – Wash Post – St. Pete
The goals were there, the goaltending was not. Caps fall to the Lightning not because of their offense not showing up, but rather, Olaf Kolzig letting in a few softies. After the Capitals talked of using their 3 game winning swing on to the road, the Caps fall to a Lightning team that had the bounces.
Certainly Tampa Bay didn’t have the Caps by the throat on this one. Some great goals were scored on both teams, but the Capitals netminder knew where the blame lands. I couldn’t argue with Kolzig on this one, no matter how badly I wanted too.
“The team played terrific. The goalie let them down,” Kolzig said. “I just didn't make the saves I needed to make, and that basically was the difference.”
The Caps played their game, and got results, but the Lightning took advantage of Olie on an off night. Alex Semin is on fire scoring two goals tonight, scoring seven goals in the last four games (9 points in 4 games). Alex Ovechkin keeps the points race interesting getting a couple of assists. Donald Brashear has been playing some kind of hockey, setting up a pretty assist to a breaking Ben Clymer who floated in alone to score.
Overall Grade: Caps: B+, Kolzig: D
It was just one of those games that can make a goaltender fume. The game winner by Martin St. Louis was a soft shot from the slot that snuck in short side. I had to rewind it and look at it a couple of different times to see where the puck penetrated Kolzig’s meaty pads. I still couldn’t figure it out how the puck squirted through.
Caps must shake out of this in a hurry as they face their other southeast division rival Florida Panthers Saturday night. Capitals need more of the same from scorers Ovie and Semin. Or the Panthers may take advantage of a lapse of confidence.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images