Capitals 2, Maple Leafs 3
Scoresheet - Wash Post - Wash Times
It seems every time the Caps come off a big win they follow it up with a dud. The Capitals maybe thought they were getting an easy opponent in the Toronto Maple Leafs, but there are not more gimmie games at this point in the NHL. Every team is coming prepared to win, whether they are in the playoffs or not. It wasn't that long ago the Caps were in the same situation, out of the playoffs, but they played tough and pulled a few good wins down the stretch against very good teams.
Alex Ovechkin finally gets off his goal scoring drought to get his 49th goal of the season and he also recorded an assist. But that wasn't enough, although you would think the Caps thought it was. As soon as Ovie scored it was like someone let the air out of the confidence balloon for the Capitals. They let up. Viktor Kozlov was the beneficary of the Ovechkin helper to pull the Caps to a goal with about 10 minutes left to play.
Mike Green looked pretty green himself when he actually poked the puck away from Olie Kolzig (who played okay) then lost his balance and the Leafs scored the deciding marker early in the third. Green couldn't make up the goal although he sure tried to do that all on his own. I see this team trying to be too cute sometimes when they desperately need a goal. So listen up kiddies to a good lesson, when your goaltender has the puck frozen leave it, get the whistle.
The Caps needed to stop grabbing those sticks too tight and get back to a simple get the puck to the net. That's how they scored their second goal, but they couldn't repeat the effort to tie. Instead there were one too many passes, one too many toe drags, one too many shots right to the Leaf logo on Vesa Toskala.
The youth of this Capitals team needs to get this lesson through to their thick helmeted heads. Just because you have Ovechkin and Fedorov on your team doesn't mean you can let up on your own game. Keep pressing, play better than them. Or suffer more deflating losses.