LETS GO CAPS!!!!
LETS GO CAPS!!!
The Capitals started play of the second of back to back games in Vancouver less than 20 hours after they walked out of the visitor's dressing room in Calgary's Saddledome. The Caps haven't had many easy games in Western Canada over the past couple seasons nor in the second games of back to backs so they needed us all rooting for them this past evening in Vancouver. But without anyone rocking the red at Rogers Arena, the Caps started the game flat, that is all except for Goalie Justin Peters (thankfully.)
1st period: Caps came out slow, Canucks fast, lots of pucks to the net; Justin Peters up to the task; Caps first line flat. Canucks dominated first period out-shooting Caps 14 - 6 and owning the puck for stretches of 60+ seconds regularly. Only thing that kept Caps in the game in first was Justin Peters, he had several highlight reel saves including one at ~11:30 - where he robed Vey after Kuzya had a turnover in the high slot. First period ended scoreless for either team though.
After luckily escaping the first period the Caps came out firing, Eric Fehr took the breakout pass from Carlson after the faceoff win by Backstrom buck was robbed by Ryan Miller. The Caps then played the next 5+ minutes with a lot more energy and enthusiasm. The Caps were working hard and outshot the Canucks 5-1 for the first 5:28 of the period until Marcus Johannson scored to put the Caps up 1-0 with assists from Bruakovsky and Green. Lots of ebb and flow till the 12:47 mark left when Peters robbed the Canucks again thankfully with another highlight reel save on a Canucks odd man rush. Then the Canucks kept up the pressure, got a power play where Henrik Sedin scored to tie the game at 1-1 at the 14:00 mark of the second period. The Caps started to get things going till Joel Ward made an ill advised drop pass, the "flow" changed and the Caps got caught flat footed on a line change at 15:22 and Nick Bonino scored on a snapshot 2-1, Vancouver. Then Luca Sbisa got down low 25 seconds later, pounded it top corner and put the Canucks up 3-1. Then the fourth/energy line came out and Liam O'Brien got a redirect and put it top shelf behind Ryan Miller to get the Caps within 1 goal at 17:18; Canucks 3 - Caps 2. That was the score when the second period ended while the Caps and Canucks were playing 4 on 4 hockey after Burkovsky got a holding penalty at 18:24 and then just about a minute later the Canucks got a bench minor for too many men on the ice. The Caps were outshot in the second period 10-9 though they out hit the Canucks 9-5 and looked much better in the second period than the first but they needed to come out firing in the tird to make a game of it.
Caps came out strong in the third period but couldn't score, Miller robbed Brouwer at the 5:30 mark. Both teams played well and pretty evenly throughout the final stanza. The Caps had a power play at the 9:05 mark of the period when Burrows was whistled off for interference but failed to score when Miller robbed Ovechkin and Carlson late in the man advantage. The game ended on a sour note for me as I thought the Canucks should have been called for holding against when he was pulled down on a breakaway but weren't and then Carlson got rightly called for delay of game with 1:38 left to play and Radim Vrbata scored an empty net goal to put the Canucks up 4-2 which is how the game ended.
Next up the Detroit Red Wings at Verizon Center on Wednesday.