Capitals 1, Flames 2
Scoresheet - Wash Post - Cal Herald
The Capitals fail to convert on a first period 9 minute power play, and their penalty kill can't stop the struggling Flames. The Caps start their road trip with just a horrible game as they fall to the Flames 2-1.
The game actually started off great for the Capitals. Sergei Fedorov redirected a Jeff Schultz pass to start the scoring off. Calgary native Tyler Sloan who was called up for his first ever NHL game laid a monster hit on Daymond Langkow that drew the 9 minute penalty in the first period. Sloan's hit was a clean one, but the Flames took exception to the hit and Rene Bourque came to the rescue of his fallen Flame. Bourque was called for 5 minute major for fighting, 2 minutes for instigating, 2 minutes unsportsmanlike. 5+2+2=9 minute penalty.
But the Capitals power play (if you want to call it that) failed to convert. Micheal Nylander even took a penalty in the middle of the large penalty in the first and the Caps couldn't even get shots on net. The Flames' penalty kill deserves some of the credit, they forced the Caps to pass before they were set which led to turnovers. Once the 9 minute power play ended, the Caps never recovered.
Calgary went on the attack and the Capitals were guilty of getting too stick happy. Eight consecutive penalties on the Capitals did them in. For a stretch from the end of the first period and the start of the second the Caps just could not stay out of the sin bin. Nine different Capitals were called for penlaties. Mike Green for two of them.
Shaone Morrisonn played one of his worse games, one I think he would like to forget. He failed to clear the puck on the first goal, and he took the wrong player on the second. When the game did settle down into 5 on 5, it looked the Caps had lost off it's gas killing off penalties. The third period the Flames were able to frustrate the Capitals offense. The game slowed down to Calgary's advantage. When the Caps did have pressure, Mikka Kiprusoff was there to clean the rest up.
The power play needs help. Special teams continue to be a liability for the Capitals. When they had the chance to go up and really put the Flames on the ropes, they couldn't. This team was not the same team that found ways to win and played their game. The Caps usually bear down and attack the offensive zone. Instead they were all over the place, sloppy with their passes and out of sync.
Fedorov ties Alexander Mogilny for most goals by a Russian in the NHL. He was reinserted as a forward in this game. Eric Fehr sat out as a healthy scratch as Donald Brashear returned to the line up. Both Tom Poti and Viktor Kozlov did skate this morning, but did take part of the whole morning skate. Jose Theodore played very solid, the two goals against him were really his fault. But for the first time, he seemed much more comfortable in net as a Capital.
Let's hope its a better effort in Phoenix on Thursday.
Replay courtesy of NHL.com: