That was an absolutely horrid game for the Caps tonight. If not for another outstanding performance from Neuvirth, they would have lost by several. And the PK looked good again.
Actually, the PK looked better than even strength for most of the night.
The tone was kind of set as the Preds got a breakaway off the opening face-off; in all my years of watching hockey, I have never seen that happen before. A number of times, when trying to get the puck out of the zone, the team looked like they'd never played together before. It was butt-ugly.
Somehow, Neuvy kept it to only two goals through the first two periods. Given his support from the defense, that was a minor miracle. Man, he looked good. Just never out of position. The two shots that beat him, one was deflected off a defenseman's skate (Fahey, FWIW), and the second hit the very, very corner of the net.
In the third period, perhaps with some help of the Preds getting tired, the Caps finally woke up. I was thinking that Semin, with his proclivity for shooting for the top corners, would be a good one to beat Lindback (who was doing a great job taking away the bottom of the net). He did get the first goal, but it wasn't on a high shot; he managed to sneak it under the pads (5-hole, I think). He almost managed to get a second goal a minute or so later (if it hadn't been so late in his shift, he might have buried it).
Flash managed to get a second goal to tie, shooting out of a scrum in front of the net and beating Lindback glove side.
OV made quite an effort to get the winning goal in an incredible shift with about three minutes left, but it didn't go in. He was also making things happen once it got to overtime, going one-on-three to draw the penalty that gave them the power play. And Laich's game-winner was a deflection of an OV slapshot from the point (probably self-defense to get the deflection, actually).
So, again, the Caps win with only one good period of play. This can't be good for the team's development; they'll think they can continue to win doing this. But they've been far luckier than they deserve (plus, Neuvirth's been the team MVP, keeping them in games where they've been absolutely dominated for periods at a time).
Man, I hope Green and Poti get back soon; the team needs them badly. We don't want to keep giving sweaters to Erskine, Sloan, AND Fahey. That just isn't a recipe for continued success. I don't think it a coincidence that they were the defensemen on the ice for the two goals (Fahey being on for both).
And can we get someone to take draws for Flash? He hasn't been doing well going into tonight, and was one of twelve tonight. Yuck.
Once again, we'll take the points, but boy is this frustrating to watch.