Friday, October 30, 2009

Caps Game Winning Streak Snapped

Capitals 3, Islanders 4 OT
Scoresheet - Post - Times

The Washington Capitals didn't play a bad game, but they didn't win it either. The New York Islanders finally find a way to beat the Caps in overtime 4-3. The home team was able to put together a better effort and got some offensive infusion from Tomas Fleischmann who scored his first two goals of the season and had chances for even more as the game wore on.

Alex Ovechkin continues to be on pace for another spectacular season as he started the scoring after the Islanders' Kyle Okposo was called for a double minor high-sticking infraction. The Capitals' power play, which has looked inept and stationary of late, was more animated in this game. Knowing the Islanders were going to block a ton of shots, the Caps moved the puck well. They even showed some creativity that led to some pretty good chances, but just came short of scoring.

Fleischmann, who was playing in only his second game of the season as he was recovering from a blood clot in his leg at the end of last season, played one of his best games as a Capital. Both goals he scored were tight affairs where he was at the Dwayne Roloson's welcome mat.

The Caps played a pretty solid game, but it was very mistake ridden. Often they seemed to lose focus or just unfortunate luck did them in. Mike Green was a victim of some Halloween trickery. His mis-play of the puck led directly to a goal.

The Islanders just found a way to hang around and in the overtime period, they took advantage of a Caps team that was being just overly nonchalant with the puck in their net. Jose Theodore played an inconsistent game, but an overall good game. He came up with some whopper saves in the second and third periods. It was the first and third goals that seemed to give the Caps' goaltender fits. Both goals squeaked under Theo and he just didn't look ready to make saves on either shots.

New York kept in the game with some really good goaltending in Roloson. He stopped 37 shots and didn't face a single shot in overtime before his teammates scored the winning goal. The Islanders benefited from some hard work and some fortunate take-aways. But the Caps couldn't get their scoring going with any consistency. Their power play, which was 2 for 6 tonight, couldn't seem to get that next goal they needed.

Caps Notes:
  • The top line for the Caps of Nick Backstrom, Alex Semin and Ovechkin continues to struggle 5 on 5. The trio combined for one goal, one assist and a collective -2. Part of the problem is their willingness to give up a puck to their teammates instead of taking the shot. It was frustrating to watch the line get a great scoring chance and give it up for an extra pass. Bruce Boudreau is thinking about splitting the line up for Sunday's game.
  • The Caps have cut down on their penalties, only sitting in the sin bin three times this game. The new discipline is great as the Caps kept the Islanders from getting much on their power plays. Theo also played outstanding during the penatly kill.
  • When the Caps play on Sunday against Columbus, they will have a player very familiar with the Blue Jackets in Brendan Morrison. B. Mo has played in 30 games against the Ohio team and has 28 points in those games. The Caps have never had the best of luck when it comes to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Having B. Mo around should help.

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