Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Game #29 Recap: Caps 4 Toronto 5 (OT-SO)

The Capitals dominated the first 40-minutes of last night's game with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Washington built a comfortable 4-1 advantage. So comfortable that the team practically slept through the third period and allowed 3 unanswered goals and lost the game in the shootout. The 5-4 loss was the third loss in a row for Washington, who lost another defenseman to injury in the process. Jeff Schultz the steady top line defensive partner to Mike Green broke his thumb blocking a shot and will be out 4 to 6 weeks. The Caps got out to a good start when Mathiue Perrault defelcted a Tom Poti point drive for the Capitals first goal. Toronto tied it on the power play when an errant clearing attempt ended up on a Toronto stick and ultimately in the back of the net. The Caps responded with a power play goal of their own when Mike Knuble gathered his own rebound in the slot and put home a wrist shot to the top corner. Perrault picked up his second of the contest when Brooks Laich found him all alone on the left side of the crease. As Alexander Semin took a beating in the paint Perrault calmly held the puck until he got the goalie out of position and fired home the shot. Alex Ovechkin got his second goal in two games with a vintage Ovechkin goal. Coming down the left wing he ripped a wrist shot past a defender and the goalie for his 12th goal of the season.  It was all down hill from there. The Maple Leafs scored three goals in the third including the game-tying marker with their goalie pulled. All three goals were the result of defensive breakdowns by the Capitals. If this team wants to contend it needs to close out games like this. A 4-1 lead to start the third period against the 13th best team in the conference should be a foregone conclusion. The Caps need to make it so.

Of note:
  • Michael Nuevirth took the loss stopping 24 of 28 shots and 2 of 3 shootout attempts. 
  • The Caps dominated the face-off circle against Toronto winning 33 of 58 draws. Boyd Gordon led the way winning 12 and losing 3. 
  • Tom Poti returned to the lineup and contributed 3 assists and 3 blocked shots on the night. 
  • A day after being recalled from Hershey, Mathieu Perrault picked up 2 goals and provided some much needed energy to the Capitals team. He needs to bring consistency to his game if he wants to remain with the big club.
  • Alex Ovechkin, Perrault, and Alexander Semin were all denied in the shootout.
  • The Caps went 1 for 3 on the power play and killed 3 of 4 Toronto power play attempts.
  • Nicklas Backstrom had two assists while Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich each had 1 apiece. 
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary
Shootout Summary

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