The Capitals had a bad first period. It didn't improve after that as they fall with out a goal against the New Jersey Devils 5-0.
Bad turnovers, poor coverage, shaky goaltending. Take your pick, it all lead to the Caps demise. The Devils took the early 3-0 lead and added a pair in the second. The Capitals had no answer for Johan Hedberg who would only face 4 shots in the first period.
It wasn't all his fault, but Braden Holtby struggled tonight in more ways than one. He lost rebounds and had a hard time picking up where the puck went after the first save. He didn't get much help from his defensemen who failed to cover Devils in front of the net. At times the Caps' defense looked a bit like Keystone Cops in their own zone and the Devils just took advantage.
John Carlson was one bright spot for the Caps playing in front of family and friends. Too bad his team posted a stinker. Carlson played an aggressive game hoping to score one at home. It lead to some great chances, but the Caps' rookie couldn't finish through the Devils' stifling defense. It would have been nice for the kid to score one.
Big Guys Continue Struggle
Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Nick Backstrom continue their little slide over the last three games. The trio have only a goal and an assist in the last three and neither was from the Capitals captain. Their line started the game, but lines were shuffled through out the game. Nothing seemed to help the Caps.
I have said it many times on this blog. Blowouts happen in hockey all the time. It is what you learn from them and what you carry over to the next game that is important. For the Caps, it seems there were no lessons learned from a 5-0 beating in Atlanta. They didn't come out with any energy or urgency to get into the game early. Instead the Caps continue to allow the first goal and find themselves behind the 8-ball game after game. If this team wants to achieve something bigger, they must learn that lesson.
- Semyon Varlamov was called in to back up Braden Holtby after Michal Neuvirth tweaked something in the morning skate. Varly's skates however did not arrive on time, leading to Neuvirth to sit on the bench in the first. The Caps' coaching staff had to get permission for Neuvirth to stay from the officials as they waited for Varly's skates.
- Both defensemen Mike Green and Tyler Sloan were hurt during the game. They status will be assessed in the morning. Both left the game and did not return.