Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Not Entirely Perfect

Capitals 1, Flyers 2
Preseason - Scoresheet

The Capitals are guilty of being a bit too fancy and a slow start played into the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers as they hand the Caps their first loss of the preseason, 2-1. The Flyers played the perfect defensive game of slowing down the high flying Caps and jumped on their slim opportunities.

Nick Backstrom was the lone goal scorer. It was a simple throw on net from the corner. It caught Marty Biron off guard and slipped into the net. It was the only simple thing the Caps tried all game. His goal was unassisted. Two streaks were ended for the Capitals, their power play came to a screaching halt as they were 0 for 8 including a :23 second 5 on 3. The other was the penalty kill that had gone two straight games with out surrendering a power play goal only to let in a goal which turned out to be the game winner for the Flyers.

Credit the Flyers who did a good job of jamming the Caps in the neutral zone and slowing the pace. They also took away passing lanes and left little for the Caps to create space and find open players. The Caps also took some lazy penalties, probably due to them trying to do too much. Only toward the end of the game did the Caps seem to figure out to simplify the game and get the puck to the net.

Several Caps that were earlier sent to Hershey were dressed for the game in Philly. Andrew Gordon, Jay Beagle (who got in a fight) and Alexandre Giroux all were in the line up. Bruce Boudreau alluded to the fact that just because some players were sent to Hershey didn't mean they were done with the Capitals. It was in his plans to bring back the players he just couldn't fit into the practices at Kettler. The Flyers on the other hand had a much more experienced line up. They nearly had starting night line up with only three prospects dressed for the game.

The Capitals return home to face the Flyers again on Friday at the Verizon Center. While the Caps have made some strides in the past 4 games, this loss shouldn't be considered as a step backwards. It is preseason after all. Now they have to learn from their experiences. The power play was pitiful, much like it was last season. Too slow, too predictable.

Alex Semin tried to way too much on his own, as often the case when he feels he has to do it on his own. Often the Caps would follow that lead and try to push the puck through three flyers. While it drew penalties, it did little for creating scoring chances. David Steckel was the only one that took shots at the net (he had the team's most shots on net with 5).

Brent Johnson finished a full game and was spectacular. He made an impossible save off a bounce off the dasher that landed right on the stick of Daniel Briere. Johny showed his athletism to stop the puck. He came up with some big plays, especially on the penalty kill. Only the Caps didn't push their aggresive offensive style enough to overcome the two goals scored by the Flyers. J0hny turned away 22 shots.

Caps come back to Kettler tomorrow for some practice and expect a much more energized team at home against the Flyers Friday night.

Corey Masisak caught up with Steve Eminger that looked pretty good tonight against his old team. "[It was] preseason, but I felt like I was pretty jacked up for the game," Eminger said. "I wanted to make a good impression, and I wanted to win."

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