Capitals 1, Maple Leafs 2
Scoresheet - Post - Times
Alex Ovechkin took a nasty slap shot on the foot in practice. The Capitals were not going to take any chances and pulled the league leading goal scorer from tonight's game with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They sorely missed his energy as the Caps came out flat and were unable to sustain any kind of energy against their opponents and drop their third straight loss on home ice 2-1.
Alex Semin had another outstanding game and the Caps only goal scorer and that was with a pulled goaltender. As for the rest of the team, it was close but never close enough. It's another tale of players seemingly waiting for something to happen. Even an early fight didn't help the Caps out much.
You had the feeling that if the Caps could just get one in the net, things would open up for them. The problem was that goal never came. There were plenty of close calls as Martin Gerber and Jose Theodore matched save for save. Some signs of life were here and there for the Caps but they just couldn't get anything sustainable. No one wanted to step up and take that leadership role by their actions.
Every team seems to hit a lull during the season. This duldrum may have come at the right time, if they can shake out of it and finish the season strong. Boston and San Jose seem to also be running into ruts as the finish line is in sight. Bruce Boudreau wants his team to peak at the right time and that is going into the playoffs.
The announced crowd was 18,277, a sell out, but there were a few seats empty. A few more emptied out before the horn sounded to end the game. Puckhead's Player of the game was linesman #80 Thor Nelson, because his name is Thor, how cool is that.
The Caps end their home stand against the Penguins on Sunday. Maybe a big emotional game against rivals will shake the funk they are in. Ovechkin talked to reporters during the game and said he was "okay" and it was possible for him to be back in the line up for the Pens game. The Caps could use his 150% effort to spark something.