Thursday, May 5, 2011

Playoff Round 2 Game #4 Recap: Caps 3 Tampa Bay 5

In the end the Capitals just couldn't get it done. The team lost Game #4 5-3 and were swept out of this year's playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Washington had no answer for Tampa's 3rd line line of Sean Bergenheim, Dominic Moore and Steve Downie. The trio combined fro 2 goals and 6 point in Game 4 and gave the Capitals fits all series long. The game started with the Capitals sticking to their game plan and methodically trying to break the Tampa 1-3-1 trap defense but the Lightning scored the first goal with Alex Ovechkin in the box for a charging penalty. Washington responded with a power play goal of their own when Ovechkin's point shot deflected off Jason Arnott and Marco Sturm's shoulder into the net. At the beginning of the second period the Caps started getting sustained pressure in the Tampa zone but couldn't solve the Tampa goalie Dwayne Roloson. Then the Lightning counter attacked and in a goal mouth scramble the loose puck found its way onto Bergenheim's stick and he flipped it into the Capitals net for a 2-1 lead. Tampa stretched its lead to 3-2 when Begenheim put back a rebound from a Moore shot. Washington got renewed life a little over a minute later when John Erskine intercepted a clearing attempt and threw a shot at the net that beat a surprised Roloson to bring the Caps back to within one at 3-2. The goal was like a jolt of electricity to the Caps, who's energy level was noticeably raised. This carried over to the third period as the Caps swarmed the net but Sturm was called for goalie interference and the penalty kill went to work. After killing off the first minute of the penalty Tampa retook their two goal lead when a point shot beat a screened Michal Neuvirth who threw up his hands in frustration as the screen was by two of his own teammates. The Caps really began pressing and a turnover led to another Lightning goal. In a last attempt to get back in the game, Washington pulled Neuvirth for an extra attacker and John Carlson scored to bring the Caps back to within two. The Caps battled all the way to the final horn but it was not enough. All was done for this season's Washington Capitals. After all this team was been through this season it seemed like they were destined for much more but such is the way in sports. So, we say goodbye to this year's Washington Capitals but fear not, they will return again next fall to embark upon another marathon journey to claim the elusive Stanley Cup. I would like to add a big thank you to all the readers who have been following this year's team with me, it sure has been a lot of fun.

Of Note:
  • Michal Neuvirth stopped 32 of 37 shots and finished the playoffs with a 4-5 record. He sported a 2.34 GAA and a save percentage of 0.912 in his 9 games. The rookie was solid and seemingly unflappable in net. The Caps have a real winner in this kid.
  • Alex Ovechkin had 1 assist in Game 4 and 2 goals and 4 points in the series. In this year's playoffs he was easily the best player on the Capitals with 5 goals and 5 assists to boost his career playoff totals to 25 goals and 25 assists in 37 games.
  • The Capitals gave up 2 power play goals on 5 attempts in Game 4 and finished the post season with 5 goals against on 38 chances while the power play went 5 for 35 with 1 power play goal in Game 4.
  • Jason Arnott had 2 assists in the game and Brooks Laich had 1. Laich almost had a goal in the first period when he deflected a John Erskine shot square off the left post. 
  • Boyd Gordon won 9 of the 12 face-offs and led the NHL in face-off percentage winning 68.8% of the draws he took.
Official Recap
Game Summary
Event Summary

Game Highlights:

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