"We have to get back to playing high-energy hockey. We've been sort of sitting back and letting the other team dictate the play and then saying, 'Hey, I guess we have to turn it on right now.'" - Coach Bruce Boudreau, this afternoon
The Caps have now been outscored 9-1 in the first frames of the last three contests and so, again, it was not a high-energy effort to start. But with the "dangly skill" that Justin Bourne discussed today, the Caps' four horsemen of every other team's apocalypse willed the team that clearly did not put forth the "extra effort" to a temporary comeback, and brought along a struggling defense with it. Until the overtime saw the Sens with possession for nearly the entire extra session, rightfully earning two points.
Ten more notes on the game:
- Seven of the last eleven games have required extra time, and our heroes have just two regulation wins in the last eleven.
- More ugly stats: just 20 shots in regulation equals the lowest total by the Caps this season. After the first period each team had 16 SOG. But, of course, it's a 60 minute game.
- For those scratching their heads over the lack of a goaltender interference call on the Jason Spezza goal, please familiarize yourself with Rule 69, particularly the last paragraph of Rule 69.1. You're going to need it come playoff time.
- A defense with some mixed up pairs -- Shaone Morrisonn with Joe Corvo and Tom Poti with John Carlson -- yielded mixed up results. And on the first Ottawa goal, it looked as if Nicklas Backstrom was on ice with four friendly red pylons.
Mike Green, however, was dominant, skating 31:44 and becoming the first Cap since Sergei Gonchar to score at least 18 goals in three consecutive seasons.
Jason Chimera's line with Eric Fehr and centered by sparkplug Mathieu Perreault shone tonight, all three a +1 and bringing a nice mix of crash and bash and slippery moves in front of the net. Matty needs to work on his draws though, winning just three of his eight, and being chased for the one right before his goal that Chimera won for him. But we'll forgive Matty his overzealous interference call against, as he drew two calls.
Jeff Schultz looked kind of ridiculous trying to defend the play that led to Spezza's second PP goal. Not a typical Sarge play this season.
- By the numbers, Jose Theodore has surrendered three goals in each of the last two first periods. But, tonight, he was hardly to blame on any of the three. More to the point, Theo rebounded to stop a breakaway and a point blank chance from an unmolested Daniel Alfredsson. I'm not concerned.
- By my count, the Caps won 13 of 18 draws in the third period. But David Steckel did not win his last draw. And his team lost the game.
- Carlson, who did not skate a shift since late in the second period, has an "upper body bang," which might be less severe than an actual injury. His departure left the Caps with five D, including a wisdom-toothless Shaone Morrisonn who -- perhaps understandably -- seemed to be a step behind tonight.
Another let down game in a growing longer string of them. April 12th can't come soon enough.