Thursday, February 21, 2013

Holy Parade Of Penalties

Capitals 2, Devils 3
Game Summary - Event Summary

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The Washington Capitals had a rough night. Well, they had a rough third period, which ruined the rest of their night. The Capitals took five consecutive minor penalties in just under 8 minutes in the third period. The blew their 2-1 lead after two periods and drop a must win to the New Jersey Devils 2-1.

Matthieu Perreault scored the Caps' first goal of the night on a clean up job in front of the net. Troy Brouwer made a crazy power move to the front of the net getting a shot on Devil goalie Martin Brodeur. The rebound bounced out passed three Devils and Perreault chipped the rebound over Brodeur's shoulder for the tally. Mike Ribeiro scored his sixth goal of the year on the power play. Troy Brouwer had two assists and the game's third star. He also had a 10 minute misconduct at the end of the game.

The Capitals had a lot of positives through out the game, despite a barrage of shots by the Devils at even strength. They practiced the long ancient art of bending but not breaking to New Jersey for at least two periods. They allowed 30 shots on net at even strength. The Caps only fault in the first 40 minutes was misplaying the puck in their own zone on the power play and the combo of Patrick Elias (who scored) and Adam Henrique lead to a shortie for the away team.

Then the third period happened. It started with a hell of a penalty kill by the Caps when Nick Backstrom was hauled off with Adam Larsson for coincidental minors. Not long after that Matt Hendricks took his hand off his stick on onto Ilya Kovalchuk's shoulder, he was whistled for holding. Then Jay Beagle cleared the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty, but Tomas Kundratek served the time, giving the Devils a 5 on 3 power play.

The Capitals PK actually did a fantastic job killing that series of penalties off. The combo of Backstrom, Karl Alzner and John Carlson did a bang up job of blocking shots, getting into passing lanes and killing off that 5 on 3. But in the end, it was just too many penalties. Kovalchuk would score when once again the Capitals got into penalty trouble down two men. Marek Zidlicky cut into the slot and took out Backstrom's stick as the pass went to Kovalchuk whose shot finally made it on net.

It was a tough game to swallow for the Capitals. To get that far and lose all momentum from a solid second period was what did this team in. Alex Ovechkin even had a jump to his game. In his most dynamic game in quite awhile, Ovechkin broke in three times on Brodeur. But he couldn't solve the Devils net minder. The penalties in the third pretty much kept him quiet for the rest of the game.

It will be a short turn around for the boys from DC who face off with the Devils again on Saturday.

Caps Notes:
  • Both of Kovalchuk's goals against the Capitals this year were game winners. The OT goal on January 25th, and tonight's power play tally.
  • The Caps' power play is smoking hot. It is 10 for 23 in the Caps last eight games (43.5%). Just to compare, the St. Louis Blues have the best PP in the league with 31.7% on the season.
  • Caps out-hit the Devils 30-9.

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