After coming off one of their worst games of the season Sunday, the start of last night’s game against the Ottawa Senators was rocky at best. With another batch of unlucky rebounds and bounces, coupled with some defensive meltdowns and leaky goaltending, the Senators showed up early with 3 goals within the first 6 minutes of the game. Unfortunately for the Caps, Jason Spezza had the bounces go his way all night as he tallied two goals and two assists. The Caps retaliated after giving up the first goal with a beautiful wrister by Semin, but that was the only goal they could put up for the period. At the end of the 1st, the score was 3-1 Sens. At least this time fans did not boo the team at the end of the period.
While later in the game, the Washington Capitals came alive and battled back from the 3-1 deficit they faced after the 1st, bringing the score 4-4 at the end of the 3rd, they were unable to maintain their energy in overtime and fell victim to the Ottawa Senators’ post-season desperation. The Senators out-shot, and just barely out-hit, the Caps who were skating and passing sloppily, turning over puck after puck.
Jose Theodore, while he was allowed to stay in goal the entire game (unlike Sunday), still seemed shaken up. He never seemed to find his rhythm and let a few easy goals slip in between the pipes.
Jose Theodore seemed to be not in the game yet when Peter Regin netted Ottawa’s first goal on the teams’ first shot of the night, quickly followed by a Jason Spezza PP tally when Mike Fisher was shoved into Theo byShaone Morrisonn, and on a D-man miscommunication, Chris Campoli’s puck had a clear lane to the net. Washington was able to battle back on goals from Mike Green, Mathieu Perreault, and two from Alex Semin before allowing Spezza to capitalize on a rebound for his second of the game -and to send the game to overtime. (RTR.net)
Convinced that Washington’s efforts should be rewarded, the team played OT hard and fast. Still, they were unable to catch Elliott (the Sens’ goalie) off guard and with just 19 seconds left in OT, when it seemed that the game would be decided in a shoot out, Niklas Backstrom was called for tripping, giving the Senators a power play that would decide the final. Alexei Kovalev slipped one in the net right between Theo and the pipe just two seconds into the PP.
The Caps have not been able to match their opponent’s desperation level in the past few outings, and some will argue how could they, with almost everything achievable in the regular season wrapped up. With games against Atlanta and Boston in the near future, the opponent is definitely going to NEED the game more than Washington. (Joe B)
Final: 5-4, Senators.
For game highlights, check out capitals.nhl.com. Courtesy of 1067 the Fan, we have a period-by-period breakdown of the game. Check it out after the jump.
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