F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 12/03/13 at 11:00 PM ET
The Capitals had a rough start to their extended homesteand, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. A decent start was undone by an absolutely abysmal second period, usually the Caps' best period. On to the reCap:
Washington Goals: Green 1 PP (Ovechkin, Chimera)
Braden Holtby: LOSS; 19 Saves; 4 Goals Allowed;
Philipp Grubauer: N.D. 9 Saves; No Goals Allowed
Carolina Goal: Skinner 5 (E. Staal); Skinner 6 (Harrison, Peters); Sekera 6 (Skinner, E. Staal); Tlusty 4 (Dvorak, Harrison)
Justin Peters: WIN; 26 Saves; 1 Goals Allowed
It took 65 shots and nearly 28 games, but Mike Green has finally scored his first goal of the season. The 65 shots were the most a player had taken this season without scoring. That honor now belongs to Minnesota's Ryan Suter who has taken 52 shots without finding the back of the net.
Jason Chimera will no doubt be kicking himself for a couple of days for a missed opportunity in the first period. With the game still scoreless and the Caps pressing, Chimera found himself alone at the net when the Joel Ward sent him the puck. All he had to do was redirect into the empty net. Instead he whiffed not once, but twice, allowing Peters to cover. This was something we expected to see from snake-bitten Chimera last season, but I thought he had overcome that.
A sort of tale of two goaltenders tonight. Justin Peters was absolutely stunning, making 26 saves on 27 shots. Twelve of those came in the first period as the Caps really controlled the run of play. Braden Holtby, on the other hand, is not going to like his performance tonight. As the Capitals came out of the gate firing, Holtby was unable to keep the Carolina counter attack at bay. He was beaten four times in two periods. Twice by Jeff Skinner (Skiiiiiiner). Both times short side. He would finish the second period, but would watch the third from the bench as Philipp Grubauer made his first appearance of the season.
The Capitals need to rethink their special teams play. On the penalty kill, they are just far too casual when it comes to opponents screening the goalkeeper. Defensemen might not be able to do what they used to in order to clear the crease, but ignoring them isn't helping anything. To make matters worse, a Caps defenseman is usually standing just in front of the screener. This just makes it that much easier to screen the goalkeeper. That's exactly what happened on Sekera's goal.
On the power play, teams seem to have them figured out. Teams are just going to let Backstrom and MoJo pass the puck back and forth as long as they want. When Backstrom goes high, they block the pass to Carlson. When the puck goes low, they just collapse. You don't tire the opponents doing that and you don't open up passing lanes. The weird thing is once the second PP unit comes out, they get the opponents moving around and create chances.
Yet again, the Caps were outshot.
Yet again, the Caps struggled to turn board dominance into scoring chances. They had a good run of it in the first, creating six scoring chances. In the second, the closest shot they had was an Alex Ovechkin shot from the faceoff dot. Although they had some decent chances in the third (including Green's goal), that 20 minute lull in the middle cursed them
As things tend to work in blowouts, the Caps had a relative even spread in time on ice. Only Mike Green and John Carlson saw north of 20 minutes and only Aaron Volpatti saw less than 10.
Caps are back at it on Saturday when Nashville comes to town
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About F Street Faithful
Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.