Thursday, February 07, 2013

Collapse In The Second

Capitals 2, Penguins 5
Game Summary - Event Summary

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Second periods just are not the Washington Capitals' thing. They have been out scored 19-6. After playing a text book opening frame on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Caps collapse under a series of bad penalty kills and the Penguins took full advantage. Allowing three power play goals for the Penguins in the second period the Capitals drop their third straight losing 5-2.

Mike Ribeiro took advantage of a bad rebound from a point shot. Marc-Andre Fleury shot backwards like he had been hit by a shotgun, but wasn't touched by Wotjek Wolski who was standing still in front of him. Ribeiro had an open shot to the net to make it one nothing. The Caps would take the lead into the first intermission playing the best period they have played yet this season. Ignoring the second period where the Pens scored 5 straight goals, Alex Ovechkin netted his second goal of the season on the power play. It would make the Caps a perfect 1 for 1 with the extra man advantage.

After holding the big names off the score sheet on Sunday, the Caps couldn't contain the Pens' top players off the scoresheet. Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Sidney Crosby all found the back of the net. All three were scored on the power play.

Michal Neuvirth started the game well enough. He made some good saves in the first period, even shutting the door on Matt Cooke who broke in alone. But after the second goal in the second period, head coach Adam Oates took a chance at switching goaltenders putting in Braden Holtby. It didn't have the desired affect.

The Penguins would expand their lead with a power play tally that Holtby admitted he should have saved. When Cooke scored just 11 seconds later, the team was deflated and never really recovered. Even with a third period goal on the power play, the best the Capitals could do was hold even for the rest of the game.

The Capitals could not afford to take the penalties they did, but they did. The Penguins made them pay for it. When a team is in the middle of a game winning streak such as the Pens were, it was difficult for the Caps to match the confidence that Pittsburgh had. When it got bad, it got worse for the Capitals.

What ever fragile psyche these Caps are in, when something negative happens against them they have not been able to recover.  That mental aspect of the game has the Caps playing head games with themselves.

Caps Notes:
  • Capitals will go back to play their division Saturday when they face the Florida Panthers.
  • The Caps out shot the Penguins 19-10 in the first and third periods. The Pens out shot the Caps in the second period 18-6.
  • Alex Ovechkin has yet to score a goal at even strength, all three of his goals have been on the power play.

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