While tonight’s Capitals game did not feature the same amount of scoring or the same number goalie fights as their game on Friday, the result was just the same- a win. In a game that was close to the polar opposite of their game the previous night, the Capitals, despite not playing their best hockey, were able to grind out a win. Good teams know how to do that- you always see the Bruins and Penguins be able to win games even when they don’t play their best, so it’s very encouraging to see the Capitals win a game like this.
First things first, shameless plug: Here’s a picture of my buddy Ovie the Bulldog and I before the game.
The first period was eerily similar to Friday’s- the Capitals’ ended the first period up 1-0 despite being out-shot 11-5. Their lone first period goal came courtesy of one Nicklas Backstrom.
Great sequence there. Nate Schmidt and Mike Green did exactly what they are best at doing- getting the puck up the ice in a hurry. Eric Fehr bought some time from Backstrom, and Backstrom finished strong. That was Backstrom’s fifth goal of the year. Fehr was credited with his fifth assist of the season and Green was credited with his ninth of the season. Backstrom’s goal (along with Michael Latta’s fight) helped the Capitals to overcome a very rocky start full of lazy turnovers and penalties.
The Panthers’ first goal came 8:20 into the second period due to a breakaway caused by a turnover by Brooks Laich. The goal is Laich’s fault for being lazy with his pass to Steve Oleksy.
Very bad turnover there from Laich. He has to be better than that. The Capitals were able to answer just thirty six seconds later with a John Carlson goal.
Michael Latta does a phenomenal job taking the puck up the ice and gets it over to Carlson at just the right time. Karl Alzner got the play started with a great takeaway. That was John Carlson’s first goal of the season, and his 100th career point. Congratulations John Carlson! That was also Michael Latta’s first career NHL point and assist, so congratulations to Latta as well! Alzner got his second assist of the season on that goal as well.
The Capitals kept playing with fire during regulation, getting out-shot and committing too many penalties. For the most part, the Capitals PK were up to the challenge- they stopped five of Florida’s power play opportunities. The bad news: the Panthers had six. With just 3:35 remaining in the game, on a power play as a result of a slashing call on Oleksy, the Panthers tied it all up at 2.
Just a really good sequence there by the Panthers. The Capitals couldn’t get the puck cleared quick enough. Ex-Capitals forward Tomas Fleischmann scored that for the Panthers.
The Caps won the shootout 3-1, and Mikhail Grabovski did this.
Michal Neuvirth was rock solid in goal, saving 31 of the 33 shots that he faced. In a game where the Capitals struggled on offense, Nevuirth gave the Capitals a great chance to win the game. After the game, the Capitals announced that defenseman Dmitry Orlov has been re-assigned to Hershey. This could just be because the Bears have a home game on Sunday and the Capitals want Orlov to play in it, so he could be back up as soon as Monday.
The Capitals’ next game is on Tuesday when they face the Islanders at home.