Thursday, November 05, 2009

Penalty Woes

Capitals 2, Devils 3

If you wanted to throw your hands up in disgust, there is a head coach that shares your sense of frustration at bad late penalties.

"They're automatic penalties," said Bruce Boudreau. "If you go behind the net and you put your stick on a guy you're going to get a penalty. Brendan Morrison has been in the league for 10 years, [Alex] Semin has been in the league for five years. These guys know this and it's just dumb penalties."

The Capitals had a great start, scoring the game's first goal, playing sound defense and Semyon Varlamov was even playing well. But it would be two bad penalties late in the third that would do the Caps in and the New Jersey Devils would take advantage beating the Caps 3-2.

It would be an awesome start for call up Mathieu Perreault. His speed caught the Devils off guard and got his first NHL point when Chris Clark had a great keep in the offensive zone. The puck would go to Perreault who made a pretty saucer pass to Tyler Sloan. The defenseman turned forward beat Martin Brodeur stick side high. That 1-0 score would hold up until the start of the second period.

The Devils would score when Brian Rolston center the puck from behind the net and Mike Green went down to block the pass. Instead, Green put it past his goaltender and the score was tied.

Semyon Varlamov was playing a pretty spectacular game besides the miss play in front of him. And the score would be deadlocked until Semin took a bad hooking penalty in the third. The result was a goal for the Devils, a shot by Niklas Bergfors that beat Varly's glove. Morrison was called for hooking not long after that and the Devils came back with the power play goal to go up two goals as Bergfors again beat Varly glove side.

Semin played one of his worst games of the season. He would be called for 3 penalties, end up an minus 1, only 3 shots on net and no take-aways. His poor play was rewarded with a nice cozy seat on the bench in the waning minutes of the game as the Caps tried to mount a comeback. Tomas Fleischmann made things interesting by scoring to make it 3-2 with about 1:37 left in the game. But it would be the high water mark for the Caps in this listless loss to the Devils.

"[No one in particular] stood out in this game," Boudreau said. "But they costs us the game. And that is a tough one to swallow."

Caps Notes:
  • Perreault would finish the game with a plus 2 rating and two assists. He could have clearly made at least third star of the game, but all three stars went to the Devils... homers.
  • Nick Backstrom was invisible for most of the game, expect on the face off dot. He was 63% (15-90). It is an improvement in an area where he has been struggling thus far in the season.
  • Sloan got his first goal of the season, and his first as a forward. His shot was a nice high quick wrister that beat Broduer stick side. He didn't look at first that it went in, but it definitely hit the white bar in the net. Sloan would finish the game with a +1.
  • Mike Green's consecutive game point streak was stopped at 9 games.

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