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Recap: Senators 4, Caps 3 (OT)

[AP Recap - GameCenter - Game Summary - Event Summary]

At some point, you'd think it would get old. You'd think that the Caps would get bored of jumping out to a lead only to blow it, take penalties late in the game and eventually lose. You'd think they would get tired of the same old story, same old script, night after night. You'd think they would get sick of the same results.

We certainly are.

And yet it seems like more often than not, this team is perfectly happy to go out and do their job for just forty minutes and then coast to whatever result awaits. It's something we've seen far too often this season, and it's something that has to stop. Because this team is better than that, or they should be, and yet time and time again they show us how far they have to go. And it's getting old. 

Ten more notes on the game:

  • Hard to think of a worse game this season for Mike Green, who had absolutely horrible stretches interspersed with the very rare good moment. A single nice assist doesn't erase the sloppy, lazy play at both ends of the ice that is just not going to cut it - and is harder to forgive when he's not scoring goals. And for further proof that stat-keeping is a subjective art? #52 was not officially credited with a single turnover. Mull that one over. 
  • Semyon Varlamov may have been dinged for four goals tonight, but three of the four were goals that would have been pretty hard to stop. Deflections, deflections and more deflections - that was the story for the Senators' offense tonight, right up to the game-winner. 
  • Happy moment time: Congratulations to Jay Beagle for picking up his first NHL goal. That's something he'll remember forever - and hopefully he'll just forget the rest of the game like the rest of us hope to do.
  • After going 45 minutes without a single penalty, the Caps began their traditional march to the penalty box at the worst possible time. And while the call on Ovechkin was highly questionable, it doesn't change the fact that taking three penalties in the span of ten minutes while holding a lead is simply unacceptable, inexcusable, and downright infuriating.
  • About that call on #8...hitting a guy who happens to be shorter than you does not make it a penalty. Hitting a guy up near the head because his head comes up to your elbows also does not make it a penalty. Of course, all logic is null and void when Bill McCreary is on the case. Shocking that the game-tying goal came on the ensuing power play.
  • 15 shots on goal for the Caps in the first. 10 in the second. 3 in the third. 0 in overtime. If that's not the most graphic way to demonstrate a team coming to a screeching halt, I don't know what is. They simply stopped skating, stopped shooting, and stopped playing.  
  • John Erskine continues to prove his ability to take dumb penalties at the absolute wrong time. It'll be nice to have guys like Milan Jurcina, Shaone Morrisonn and Tom Poti back, won't it? You know, guys who don't do th-...oh, wait. Crap.
  • That goal by Clark was one of those mildly annoying "was it a kicking motion??" strikes that seems to rile up Joe B. and Locker, and while it was a close call it was probably the right one. Of course, had it been the other team doing it...
  • Faceoffs. Ouch. The Caps won just 40% of their draws tonight as faceoff woes continue. And somehow, in some bizarro universe, Birthday Boy Nicklas Backstrom's abysmal 33% in the faceoff circle was not the worst percentage on the team. Tonight tthat honor goes to Mathieu Perreault, who was 3-for-11 en route to a 27% success rate. 
  • Because Brendan Morrison has been around a while, they call it "veteran savvy," but if Alex Semin was doing the same thing, they'd call it "diving."
Games like this make you forget about the good things that happen early on - and to be fair, there was a lot of good early on. Clark and Morrison getting on the board, all four lines playing with some jump, a lead and a goaltender who looks like he's having another strong night...these are all good things. But they're soon forgotten when the end result is not a win, and when that result comes by way of, as Boudreau put it, "a total collapse by 20 guys".

Because it's no longer comforting that this team got a point on the road. A point is good, but it's not the goal and it's not what good teams strive for. This game should have been a two-point game. It should have been a win. And for forty minutes it was a win. Too bad no one told the Caps that games last 60 minutes.

Perhaps someone should, and fast.

Game highlights: