Sunday, September 16, 2007

Caps Drop Preseason Opener

The Caps lost to their southeast rivals Carolina Hurricanes in the preseason opener 4-3. The Caps were perfect through two periods with Brent Johnson in net and a two goal lead going into the third. But the Caps' lead soon slipped away when Michal Neuvirth took over in net and the Hurricanes tied the game at 3 late in the third on a Justin Williams slap shot that beat Neuvirth. That set up a power play goal for Erik Cole late in the overtime frame.

The Caps seemed to come out in this game hungry, dominating the 'Canes in shots and hits. But all that fanfare slipped away in the third. The Hurricanes dressed Eric Staal, Cole, Williams, Mike Commodore and Corey Stillman while the Caps played with out Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Micheal Nylander and Olaf Kolzig to name a few.

Nicklas Backstrom did score in the second period as did Mike Green and Ben Clymer who also tallied for the Caps. Clymer had a busy game a goal and a fight in the third.

Don't read too much into this game. I think the boys did pretty well in a hostile environment. You kinda had the feeling that the 'Canes were not going to be shown up on their preseason opener at home. I don't think this was a good game to gauge how good Neuvirth will be. Watching him at training camp and at the rookie camp, this kid is pretty good. But some bad penalties (that seem to continue to plague the Capitals) really put the kid against a rock and a hard space.

Caps return back to some more comfy confines of KCI for practice at 10:30 am tomorrow. Cuts will be made as their will be just two groups practicing instead of 3. Their next preseason game will be at Ottawa Thursday.

Just got this from Tarik off his blog:

Update:Alzner just called Matt Pettinger "Mr. Pettinger" in an interview. He said he calls all the vets Mister. That will only change, he said, when he makes the team.

Talk about repect this guy has!

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