Friday, November 21, 2008

No Gas Left In The Tank

Capitals 2, Kings 5
Scoresheet - Wash Post - LA Times

The Capitals just couldn't match Los Angeles' intensity. Playing their second game in as many nights, the Caps looked tired and beat up. The Kings coming off of a short rest and a small losing streak took it to the weary Capitals.

Nick Backstrom and Brooks Laich were your goal scorers. Alex Ovechkin keeps his point streak alive with an assist. Several streaks were snapped for the Capitals at Staples Center. Goals scored in consecutive regulation periods, ended at 14. Games where the Caps scored 3 or more goals consecutively, ended at 7. Ovi's goal scoring streak, ended at 5 games.

The second goal is a shot I think Brent Johnson would have liked to get back. It was a straight forward shot off the wing by Patrick O'Sullivan that slipped past Johnny. Otherwise Johnson was the only reason the Caps were even close in this game down the stretch. He made some amazing saves on the penalty kill and played aggressively in the crease. He just had a tired slow defense in front of him.

The Caps play was sloppy and uninspired. From the start the Kings got their legs moving on the Capitals, making them run around silly in their own zone. Washington were badly out shot in the first period, 12 to 3. Credit Terry Murry and the Kings as they played hard and kept moving their feet knowing the Caps had just finished playing a physical Anaheim team the night before.

The Capitals were just too tired to get anything started. Passes were sloppy and often behind players breaking for the net. They were getting beat on the one on one battles along the boards. When the Caps tried to make that second or third breakout pass, the young legs of the Kings quickly snuffed out any chance of a break through the neutral zone.

The Capitals penalty kill and power play were actually pretty good in this game. The Caps were one of 5 chances scoring on a 5 on 3. The Caps even killed off a 1:24 of a 5 on 3, thanks to the heroics of a stickless Brooks Laich who blocked shot after shot with his bare hands (well there were gloves on, but he stopped a few shots with his palms where there is no padding). But the Caps could't build off of either success.

Also, this was the same officiating crew from last night. A phantom interference call late in the third sealed the Caps fate. Dustin Brown and Alex Ovechkin simply ran into one another and Brown's skate caught Ovi's ear on the way down. While the contact was just an accident (both players were unaware of the other), the officials called Ovechkin for interference. The Kings were able to score after the Caps were a little too offensively minded with the man down. Frustrating to say the least. Especially considering that obvious tripping and hooking infractions seemed to go unnoticed.

The Caps just needed some rest it looked like. Shots of Ovi snorting some smelling salts sort of told the story of how this team just couldn't get it up and going at the Staples Center. The Caps could have used a spark from injured Alex Semin, Mike Green and Sergei Fedorov. They will get a little rest now, their game versus San Jose is Saturday night. This is one game I would think the Caps would like to forget.

Video highlights courtesy of

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