Capitals 0, Canadiens 4
Scoresheet - Wash Post
Well, that sucked. The Capitals' worst case scenario came true against the Canadiens. They lost and Carolina won their contest with the Rangers. Instead of the Caps being snug against the 'Canes for that first place Division lead, they gave up some slack now making it a 3 point stretch. What's worse, the Caps fell back into their non-scoring phase.
No Capitals scored, zilch, zero, nada, nobody. Give Cristabol Huet some credit though, he played the Caps pretty spot on. And the Caps special teams weren't that special. The Canadiens were able to pick up two power play goals and a shortie. The Caps powerplay was dismal. They had a chance early in the first with a two man advantage and only one goal down, but they still found it hard to get that big goal and ended up getting scored on short handed (which is really where the Caps lost this game). The Caps never went on the pp after that.
Brent Johnson was a little on his own. There wasn't much he could do with the defense that looked to be asleep for the entire game. Johnson did look sharp though, stopping 36 shots and keeping the Caps somewhat in it. Alex Ovechkin's point streak came to an end at 7 games. Ovie has yet to match his 9 game point streak he had earlier in the season.
The Canadiens are on a little bit of a hot streak, that is for sure. And the Caps need to find a way to counteract this hotness Thursday night when they finish off a home and home against the Habs. The glaring problem is scoring, and scoring when it matters. The Canadiens have a way of shutting down teams defensively when they want to.
The Caps weren't very physical in this contest either. The Habs out hit the Caps 30 -25. Ovie was a willful participant of the hitting letting known to his defensive rival Micheal Komisarek that he was there. But the Caps looked a little man handled at times early.
Both Alex Semin and Mike Green decided to tuck their jerseys in their pants. It really has no bearing at all at the result of the game, but it bothered me the entire game. They both looked a little ridiculous. Are they afraid they are going to get their shirt tails caught? Green was the only Capital with a -2 rating.
Also, during the first intermission there was an Ovechkin interview that got a little personal about him being a father and married (there is a rumor that he is engaged and wants to get married 8/8/08). Weird. Then there was some questions about Alex Semin and Ovie looked a little uncomfortable answering for the speedy winger that Washington media (or any media for that matter) has a hard time understanding. Until Semin learns English, he will always seem to be a conundrum.
This is one of those games that you just want to forget, and hopefully the Capitals can when the Habs come to town. The Caps have to stay out of the penalty box and get some pucks in the net unless they want to continue to slide down the standings. For now, they can afford to lose a little, but very little.