Capitals 5, Devils 6 OT/SO (0-1)
Scoresheet - Wash Post
In a game that had much more excitement than any game should against the New Jersey Devils, the Capitals play a back and forth wide open affair and tie the game in dramatic fashion only to fall in the shootout and see their winning ways ended. It was a sloppy game for the Caps at times, and they just couldn't make good on timely scoring down the stretch. Alex Semin was not in the line up for this one and the Caps go down in the shootout 5-6.
Nick Backstrom had a hand in all five goals for the Caps. He had a goal and 4 assists worthy of the games number 3 star. He had a big assist as he dished the puck to a wide open Alex Ovechkin who netted the game tying goal with only a second left on the clock. He had an earlier goal giving him two tallies and an assist to finish the night with three points. The other Caps' scorers were Tomas Fleischmann (who has goals in back to back games) and Viktor Kozlov.
The New Jersey Devils split a home and home with a win that meant more for their team then maybe a loss for the Caps. However, the Caps didn't look too solid on defense in this one. Sloppy openings to both the first and second periods got the Caps in trouble.
Mike Green looked a little too shakey in this game often losing the puck on the attack and missing a few key defensive plays. It wasn't his best game. He was nearly a bystander on one of Patrick Elias' goals, not even pressuring the shooter as he bore down the left wing. Green also seemed to find himself standing around too much in the defensive zone. When he did get to the offensive attack, he would often turn the puck over or make bad decisions with the puck.
The Caps waste another spectacular performance by Jose Theodore, who got his second straight start in place of an injured Brent Johnson. Theo kept the game with in reach with 4 or 5 whopper saves. It was defensive breakdowns that lead to the Caps demise. Failure to clear the puck effectively and turning over pucks in the neutral zone against a team like the Devils whose quick transition game will kill you really hurt the Capitals in this one.
It's not like the Caps get to come back home and nurse this loss. This is the first game of a five game road trip that will have the Caps making a western swing. Their next three opponents are Anaheim, Los Angeles and red hot San Jose. The Caps were able to salvage a point from tonight's debacle, but they will need to keep accumulating points through this road trip.
Video highlights courtesy of NHL.com: