Things did not start out looking well for the Caps tonight. In the first period, there were several questionable non-calls, some near-misses, whistles blew the play dead a couple of times when Elliot didn't have the puck covered, and the period was capped off by having a goal disallowed because it crossed the line half a second too late. They also allowed two goals, with the defense not looking very good. With the way things have been going, it was looking like a long night, indeed.
I went upstairs to put my daughter to bed during the intermission, failing to turn off the DVR so I could pick up from where I left off. I got back with half the period gone, and the score now 3-2. Apparently, I should watch less. What's more, my wife saw Ovechkin's disallowed goal that would have made it 4-2. Obviously, I rewound to see the goals.
Good effort by the Caps to get the scoring going right away. The first and third goal were both basically garbage goals where Perrault picked up the puck on a rebound, and put it past a sprawled Elliot. Am I dismissing those goals by calling them garbage goals? I am not. The Caps have never been very good about getting those sorts of goals (with the possible exception of when Ciccarelli was on the team), so I was thrilled to see them. I should also mention that the reason he was held out last night was that he had the flu, so nothing should be read into him not playing.
Fehr, I forgot to mention, stayed on the top line for this entire game, and looked really good. Maybe that will be a long-term change after all. If so, I'm not going to be upset. He had the second goal, an assist on Perrault's second goal (actually not sure how they ended up out there together, but there it was), plus had the twine tickler disallowed by the end of the first period.
OV looked pretty good; I think they've given him a sitting down, and told him he needs to change things up a bit to give himself more room. The result was that he only had two shots, both pretty late in the third period. But he was looking to pass when he brought the puck into the zone, rather than always looking to cut across the middle for the wrister from the top of the circles. I'm not really thrilled with the results for tonight, but I think it will help both him and the team, long-term. We do need to have him taking more shots, though, in general.
Neuvirth looked very good. He did not have a chance on either of the goals; the first he never saw and the second was deflected from a position he couldn't possibly cover. I do have wonder why he was playing, though. Having played last night, I definitely would have preferred to have Varly in.
But on the whole, the Caps looked good. They looked hungry, they were doing a better job of keeping the puck in the offensive end, and they played like a driven team. It was great to see.
Now that the streak is broken, there's a day off before the Devils come to town; hopefully, they'll keep that hunger and bring it again. And maybe they can not play from behind again? These instances of spotting the other team two and three goals are really getting old.