Tuesday, November 24, 2009

THE CAPITALS REMAIN HAUNTED IN THE THIRD PERIOD -- LOSE TO SENATORS 4-3 IN OVERTIME

For such a talented Washington Capitals team, it has felt heartbreaking to watch them battling injuries, struggling to hang onto leads scored before the third period and then simply floundering.

The third period has haunted the Capitals, and last night the third against the Ottawa Senators was no different. They started the period with a 3-1 lead, but the Senators outshot them and took the 4-3 overtime win.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau lamented, "This was a total collapse by 20 guys. I don't know how to sugarcoat it. We had total control of the game after two periods. They didn't even want to be a part of it. They looked like they wanted to go home."

The Senators scored twice in the third for the tie -- and then Mike Fisher got a puck past Semyon Varlamov in overtime to seal the win for his team.

The Caps had outshot Ottawa 25-15 in the first two periods, but then the Senators stepped up and took control with 18-3.

So what might have been an evening to celebrate -- with Jay Beagle scoring his first careeer NHL goal, turned into an evening with heads lowered and the repeated questioning of how they had let the third period beat them again.

The other Capitals goals were scored by Chris Clark and Brendan Morrison.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

WEARY CAPS LOSE TO MAPLE LEAFS, BUT GOALTENDER VARLAMOV IMPRESSES


The Washington Capitals were skating weary last night -- and handed the lowly Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory.

Caps goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who stopped 38 of 39 shots, was a bright spot in the game, -- and Alex Ovechkin moved into a tie for second place in the NHL in goals by scoring his 16th.

"We looked pretty tired," coach Bruce Boudreau lamented to the Washington Times. "Sometimes it is a bad one point and sometimes there is a good one point. I thought we were lucky to come away with one."

The team was missing seven regular skaters -- Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, Boyd Gordon, Tom Poti, Shaone Morrisonn,Quintin Laing, Milan Jurcina. And they were playing the second in-a-row night.

But the Maple Leafs were in control during much of the playing time, and the score might have been worse for the Caps if Varlamov had not been so impressively sharp.

And even though Ovechkin scored the Cap's lone goal, he opined that he was not happy with how he played. "We didn't move our legs [including] me," he explained. "I'm not happy how I play today. I'm not happy how my line play today. We score one goal, but we have to score more. We have more ice time than everybody, so we have to use it. We had a couple of chances on the power play, we don't score."

This was the Maple Leafs first in six games. Niklas Hagman, who had scored in regulation, beat Semyon Varlamov with a back-hander.

With a day off, the Capitals next play the Senators on Monday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

OVECHKIN "FEELING A LOT BETTER TODAY"

What better gift could the Washington Capitals give injured Alex Ovechkin than a higher number in the team's win column?

And it seems obvious that this is just the 'get well gift' that Coach Bruce Boudreau and Ovi's teammates want to give to him.

Ovechkin, who suffered an upper-body strain -- definitely will not be playing when the Caps face the New Jersey Devils Wednesday.

But, still, Boudreau thinks that the team can win despite Ovi being sidelined. It will just require his teammates to think smart and play hard -- will require some good defense. With Ovi on the sidelines, Boudreau explained that is like giving up one goal in a game.

"He's feeling better today, feeling a whole lot better," said Boudreau. "I was really excited about that. I don't know how much better a lot better is, but when he's telling me he felt a lot better today that's a positive sign. I think he's getting bored not practicing already."

Of course, Ovechkin is listed as week to week, and it is unknown when he will be well enough to be cleared to return to the ice and game play.

"We want to make certain that when he does step on the ice, there is no chance that he will hurt that same injury again," said Boudreau.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BOUDREAU HOPES OVECHKIN WILL NOT BE OUT FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS


After practice on Tuesday, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau expressed hope that his team's star winger Alex Ovechkin will not be sidelined for more than two weeks.

Ovechkin was listed as week to week after being checked out following an upper-body strain, it was reported. And he is definitely not expected to play on Wednesday in NJ.

While Capitals management and Ovi's teammates lament playing without Ovechkin, they are adamant that they can win without him on the ice.

"Offensively, you cannot rely on one guy all the time," said Boudreau, "but you are taking a full goal a game out of your lineup. There is no getting around the fact that we're going to miss him. He is the best in the world." Ovechkin has scored 14 goals in 14 games.

In order to win without Ovechkin, Boudreau said that the team will need to shore up their defense.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

WASHINGTON CAPITALS' LAING SUFFERING FROM SWINE FLU

The Washington Capitals forward Quintin Laing has been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, according to a team spokesman.

"He's currently at home being treated and is isolated," Nate Ewell, speaking for the Capitals, told the Washington Times. "No one else on the team is currently showing any symptoms. The proper terminology is that he was diagnosed but not tested. He was tested for the seasonal flu. That turned up negative, but he was showing symptoms for H1N1, so he's being treated as such."

It is not known when Laing will be able to return to the Caps, but it has been reported that he will be out at least for five days from when he became sick.

At a team meeting, players were cautioned to wash their hands often, avoid shaking hands as much as is possible and to make certain to eat healthy foods and to get the proper amount of sleep.

"We're taking all the precautions we can to be hygienic," explained defenseman Brian Pothier. "I don't think we're sitting here as a team panicking that other guys are going to get it. I think we just have to take care of ourselves, and if you get it, just take care of it."

Monday, October 12, 2009

WASHINGTON CAPITALS WORKING OUT THE KINKS

The Detroit Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom scored a power-play goal with just under 7 minutes left to play, handing his team a 3-2 victory over the talented, blue-blooded Washington Capitals on Saturday night. The goal was scored after a hooking penalty on Caps' Mike Green.

"If we don't address our penalties it's difficult because it ruins the whole flow of our game," said Caps defenseman Brian Pothier.

Going into that game, the Capitals had followed their initial two victories with two losses in a row, and they had been leading in both with about 10 minutes to go in the third perid.

The team that has had its collective eye on and is more than hungry for a Stanley Cup win has been plagued by penalties and the kind of little mistakes that can haunt.

"You can't be doing that. You can't be giving up third-period leads,' said defenseman Tom Toti to USA Today. "You've got to hold onto it, somehow, some way. We have to tighten up as a team and play team defense. Can't be looking for that extra goal."

"I've never been around a group that cared so much about winning and how every loss affects them," coach Bruce Boudreau has said of his team. "It's just that we're making mistakes that teams make, and we want to correct it in Game 4 rather than Game 44."

And while the Caps are loaded with dream-team talent, avoiding penalties and avoiding little mistakes can be critical for getting to hoist the Stanley Cup.

In discussing penalties after the loss to Detroit, Boudreau opined, "If we hadn't taken penalties in this game or in other games, we could easily be 5-0. Instead, we're .500. It's back to the drawing board."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

PENALTIES COST CAPITALS AS FLYERS WIN

The Flyers defeated the Capitals in their home opener -- but it took an extra time goal for them to get the job done.

A good night for the Flyers -- Mike Richards was the first Flyer to score a hat trick in 42 home openers, and teammate Matt Carle tied an NHL record for defensemen by garnering four assists in a single period. And this also proved a time for celebration for Danny Briere who celebrated turning 32 years old with the overtime goal. He scored on a rebound with just over a minute left in overtime play, giving the Flyers 3-0.

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin each scored two goals -- and another was scored by Brendan Morrison which had given the Capitals a 5-4 lead with 10:28 remaining in the third period.

Flyers goalie Ray Emery stopped a shot by Matt Bradley, but the rebound flew off Morrison's skate and into the net. After a video review, the ruling was that Morrison had not intentionally kicked the puck in -- so the goal stood.

Then with a man advantage, winger Scott Hartnell poked a rebound past goalie Jose Theodore with 4:15 remaining in the third period, evening the score at 5.

Theodore stopped an original shot by Briere, but was sprawled and unable to prevent the rebound.

"Tonight we were our worst enemy," Morrison explained to The Washington Post. "We came back and took the lead in the third, and that's a game we should have seal down and win. Tonight it was our penalties. We just couldn't stay out of the box. We have to learn this lesson quickly if we want to be a good team, not a great team."
 
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