The Caps were fed up with putting forth a good effort and getting no results. So rather than working on the "results" part, they took the easy route and after the four-minute point of the first period, they stopped putting forth the good effort and got less-than-desirable results, a 4-3 shootout loss to the Panthers.
There was some good to come from the game. To begin with, the Caps offense posted as many points as the Redskins' offense did a day earlier, even scoring twice (in nine attempts) on the power play. Dainius Zubrus scored twice and is now riding a career-best five game point scoring streak (4-3-7). Alexander Ovechkin added another pair of helpers to retake the rookie scoring lead. And Brooks Laich had a sensational move to beat Roberto Luongo in the shootout.
But the bad was bad and included a rare appearance of five-hOlie Kolzig (alter ego of the Caps' usual netminder) in the shootout against a team that had never scored a shootout goal, much less won one of the gimmicky skills competitions. Also, per TSN.ca, "The Florida Panthers on Sunday won [their] second game at Washington's MCI Center this season, snapping a three-game losing streak. Against the rest of the NHL, the Panthers are 3-16-4 on the road. The Panthers have also won five straight overall against Washington." Oy.
The WaPo's coverage is here, the WTimes' here.
Elsewhere around the rinks on Sunday:
- Are you Finnish, er, finished? 6 of the 15 goals scored in Sunday's first two games were scored by Finns - Olli Jokinen and Jere Lehtinen had two each, and Niko Kapanen and Niklas Hagman each had one (and Jussi Jokinen added a helper for good measure). I guess Antti Miettinen didn't get the memo.
- On this date in 2002 then-Kings' netminder Jamie Storr pitched a 34-save shutout against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. the significance? Hard as it may be to believe, it made the Kings the first team ever to sweep the Islanders, Devils and Rangers on one trip to greater New York.
- Speaking of the Rangers, yesterday they traded defenseman Maxim Kondratiev to the Mighty Ducks for six-time 20-goal scoring Czech winger Petr Sykora (if not the good Petr Sykora, certainly the better one) and a fourth round pick. Can you say salary dump? Interestingly, the fourth round pick the Rangers get along with Sykora is the same pick the Rangers traded to the Ducks (along with stiff Trevor Gillies) for Steve Rucchin back in August.
Hart: Bryan Berard (3G, including game-winner)
- Ross: Sergei Fedorov (4 assists)
- Norris: Bryan Berard (2G, including game-winner)
Vezina: Chris Mason (W, 36 saves on 37 shots against)
- Richard: Bryan Berard (3G)
- Calder: Alexander Ovechkin (2A)
- Aiken, Pt. I: Marty Turco (ND, 3 goals against on 13 shots in 21:32 before getting pulled; Turco is now still winless in his career against the Red Wings at 0-5-5)
Aiken, Pt. II: Chris Osgood (L, 6 goals against on 23 shots in 48:35 before getting the hook after being staked to a 3-0 lead courtesy of Turco)