Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thunder Struck

Capitals 0, Lightning 3
Game Summary

Whatever the Capitals learned from their losing streak in December, they soon forgot it in Tampa Bay. In an important game for the Caps to retain the lead in the Southeast Division, they allow the Lightning a 3-0 lead and could not recover. They would give up the two points to Tampa Bay and lose the game 3-0.

Dwayne Roloson made the Bolts' general manager Steve Yzerman look like a genius as he continued to plague the Capitals who have yet to score on him in a Lightning uniform. There are just some goaltenders that seem to have a mental edge over the Capitals that it seems hard to score against, Roloson is one of those. He would pitch his second straight shutout of the Capitals and help his team take the lead in the division.

The Caps would just have one bad bounce after another. It seemed that Alex Ovechkin couldn't keep a stick intact for any quality shot on net. He would even get a quality chance after jumping from the penalty box, but the puck would stop on him lot letting him break free for an open chance on net. The Capitals just seemed to be on the wrong end of penalty calls, wrong end on bad bounces and if it weren't for bad luck they would have no luck at all.

Jeff Schultz, usually a pillar of solid defense for the Capitals, would be a mortal -3 in this game. He often looked a step behind and a gear too slow against the Lightning. Even veteran Tom Poti seemed to look out of sorts on the ice against the speedy Lightning. Mike Green himself just seemed to psych himself out of set ups and just made the wrong decisions with the puck.

The Caps' offensive slump continues and does not look like there is any improvement in sight. While the coaching staff has put emphasis on defense, the Caps offense seems to be squandering chances and players are trying to do it all on their own. Frustration was the emotion of the night for any Capital, forward or defenseman. Even when the Caps seemed to gain a little momentum, it would be a bad penalty or a bad play that would negate any chance they worked for.

Penalty killers for the Capitals seemed to have returned, if you are looking for a bright spot. They did pitch a shut out with a man down to get back on track. The Caps' power play however continues to struggle. The Bolts played a discipline game, not giving the Caps much to work with with the man advantage. Washington's power play would only touch the ice for 2:22 on two penalties and finish 0-2 on the night.

It was a stinker of a game for the Caps. It is much the same struggles they faced in December and it seems old habits die hard. There was zero energy late in the game, making any comeback impossible. The Caps would come away with just a single point on their Florida trip. They return home to face the Vancouver Canucks, a team considered much better than the Lightning.

One thing is certain, the Caps can not continue to play this way.

Caps Notes:
  • For a second time, the Capitals fail to overtake their divisional foes for first place in the Southeast. The Caps would fall to the Lightning almost a week ago to a overtime 0-1 loss, a first in Capitals' franchise history.
  • Alex Semin would miss his second straight game since getting hit in the first game of the home and home with the Florida Panthers. He would not be replaced by Brian Willsie however, Boyd Gordon would make his return. 
  • Marcus Johansson continues to struggle in the face off dot, only winning one draw in 8 tries.
  • The best Cap on the ice was Semyon Varlamov who got little or no help from his defensemen. He would stop 35 shots including some dazzlers on the penalty kill.

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