Capitals 3, Devils 4 OT/SO (0-1)
Scoresheet - Wash Post
You know the old saying, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." The Capitals are guilty of not working hard enough for this win as they drop in the first shoot out of the season to the New Jersey Devils 4 - 3.
Alex Semin continues to have the hot hand as he has now his fifth and sixth goals of the season. Mike Green also tallied on a 5 on 3 power play. Alex Ovechkin added to his assist total but was kept in check by the Devils throughout the game.
The Caps power play was pretty sloppy. Credit the Devils for playing an aggressive penalty kill. The Caps just couldn't get it together. The Caps shot total on the power play I could count on one hand, out of 8 chances too. The Devils aggressive forecheck kept the Caps off balance all game, and they never seemed to get into any kind of rhythm whether it was 5 on 5 or not.
Brent Johnson deserved a better fate in this one. He was absolutely spectacular in net. More than once did Johnny take away the back door one timer and stood solid in net. He certianly didn't play like a back up tonight. He played his angles well, was quick east to west and looked big in net. But the Devils found ways to score late and the Caps just couldn't outwork a very good Devil team.
Marty Brodeur stopped all three Capitals' snipers in the shootout; who could have used Viktor Kozlov in this situation. Micheal Nylander, Semin and Ovechkin all failed to convert their shots. In the end the Devils only needed one to go in, and they got it off of a backhander by Zach Parise.
For the Capitals to come out of this one with a point is somewhat acceptable, but the Caps did carry a lead into the third only to squander it after a few defensive break downs. Late in the second and even early in the third, the Caps had several chances to put the game away while they had a lead and failed to do so.
What did the Caps learn tonight? That good teams can comeback on them as well. Give the Devils their due, they earned this win tonight. The NJ boys were stepping in front of shots, shutting down passing lanes and playing very good team defense. Like I said, the Caps are lucky to come out of this with a point thanks in part to Johnson in net.
Ovechkin needs to learn some new moves on the shoot out. He has gone from shootout darling to dropout in his last couple of chances. He has been looking to beat that glove hand with his quick wrister. But I think goaltenders have gotten wise to it. But his points will come.
Chris Bourque was the call up as a few Capitals are already nursing injuries (Kozlov, Brashear, Poti). He played pretty solid, and he even got a few pucks to the slot that sometimes was not occupied by his linemates. He played some time on the powerplay and had one really good shot from the point that Brodeur just got a piece of. His father, Ray Bourque was in the stands for his son's first game of the season. C-Bo was sent back to Hershey after the game. Sergei Fedorov played back on defense and there were a few times he stepped up and got caught behind the play.
Next for the Capitals is their first western swing road trip as a horse show will occupy the Verizon Center this week. Their trip will take them to Calgary, Phoenix then Dallas before returning back to the phone booth next Tuesday to take on Nashville.
Highlights courtesy of NHL.com: