What's was the story last night? Home winning/non-loss in regulation streak stopped at 16? No that's not really the story. Cardiac kids make another valiant effort to come back and come up short...again? No, that's not really the story either. Panthers played an exceptional game and won? That definitely wasn't the story either though the Cats did definitely win the second period going away. No the real reason that tonight was the first "No Point" night at home for the Washington Capitals since 6 games before last season ended? The Capitals made way too many miscues and lost the game.
The first period was fine, even though the Caps didn't get many shots on goal, they gave the Panthers even less. The Caps' powerplay unit scored and the period ended Caps 1 - Panthers 0.
The second period was horrible. The Caps hung Jose Theodore out to dry. At 6:19, Karl Alzner missed his assignment and left Ville Peltonian wide open for a pass from Radek Dvorak who then had at least 1/3rd of the net to put the puck in past Jose Theodore. Then at the 7:28 mark with the Panhers on the power play, Caps "defensive center David Steckel made a miscue that sent the puck off of Caps Karl Alner's stick into the Caps own net past Theodore. It would have been a perfect tip-in play except that it went into the wrong net. Then at the 12:09 mark with the Panthers again on the powerplay, Shoane Morrisonn basically put the puck into the Caps own net again. The second period ended Caps 1, Panthers 3.
The third period was uneventful and pretty lackluster by the Capitals until the 16:11 mark when Viktor Kozlov scored (assists to Backstrom & Morrisonn.) Shortly before that the Caps "turned up the volume" and kept it up for the rest of the game. At the 17:02 mark the Caps again tallied, this time it was Tomas Fleischmann from Ovechkin & Kozlov. At about the 18:45 mark Coach Bruce Boudreau pulled Jose Theodore in favor of an extra skater. This resulted in the Panthers potting the empty net "insurance" goal at the 19:00 mark.
This was a case of the injuries just taking their tool. All of the rookie defenseman, except Tyler Sloan, looked like rookies a lot of the time; Sloan only looked like a rookie twice last night that you could see from Section 103. Shoane Morrisonn had an awful game, one of his worst so far this season. It just seemed the injuries are now just crating visible weaknesses that opponents can exploit. Hopefully we'll start seeing at least a couple of the 8 Caps who are currently injured, soon.
Next Up: The New York Islanders at Verizon tomorrow night.
LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!