Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Game #77 Recap: Caps 2 Carolina 3 (OT-SO)

The Capitals got a taste of what playoff hockey might be like and ended up on the bad side of a 3-2 shootout decision. The team welcomed back Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott to the lineup but looked less inspired than the Carolina Hurricanes who are fighting for their playoff lives. The Caps gave up the lead early in the second period when they allowed a power play goal. Washington got their own power play but some sloppy play lead to a Carolina penalty shot. Semyon Varlamov made a sweet poke check to foil the attempt but the Caps again failed on the power play. The Caps finally cracked the scoreboard with a wicked goal from Alexander Semin who skated in from the right wing and made one of the most amazing roof shot you will ever see. Cam Ward had every part of the net closed off except for a little spot in the top right corner and Semin hit it to deadlock the game at 1-1. Marcus Johansson gave the Capitals the lead when a broken play gave him a 1-on-1 with Ward. Johansson stashed the puck around the splayed goalie with some filthy deking moves. The Caps looked to have the momentum leading 2-1 going into the third period. However, the Canes came out strong and got the equalizer just 1:46 into the period. With three minutes remaining in regulation Semin took a bad hooking penalty in the neutral zone. The Caps killed of the Canes power play but that was the last ice Semin would see all game as Head Coach Bruce Boudreau sat him for the rest of regulation, overtime and presumably the shootout. The Caps shootout effort was not one of their best as Ovechkin and Backstrom were both unable to score and Varlamov stopped 1 of 3. The Caps should have a good idea what they need to work on as they prepare for Columbus on Thursday.

Of Note:
  • Semin had his second consecutive 1 goal 1 assist game. It was also the fourth consecutive game that he was sent to the penalty box. But that is Semin for you and you just hope the good will outweigh the bad.
  • Both Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott returned to the lineup but the power play remained disjointed. Thee team went 0 for 3 and the Canes scored on 1 of 5.
  • Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 of 26 shots and looked much more in control in his second start since returning from injury. However, I think he would like the second goal back as he allowed the puck to squeeze between his arm and his body.
  • John Carlson led all shooters with 8 shots on goal and had 1 assist while teaming up with his defense pair Karl Alzner to block 5 shots apiece for 10 of the team's 18 blocks in the game.
  • Brooks Laich picked up his 26th assist on the season.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary
Shootout Summary

Game Highlights:

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