I was happy to see Matty P called up today; again, we saw an awesome initial performance by him, this time with a pair of goals instead of a pair of assists. OV added a pretty nice goal, and Knuble rounded out the Caps scoring on the night.
All that looks and sounds great. Unfortunately, that was the first two periods, and as you might be aware, they play three in the NHL. Even through most of the third period, it still looked like one of the Caps better games of the season, but man, did they fall apart at the end.
They allowed two goals in the last 2:27 of the game. The second one was due to a completely blown coverage by OV, who just parked himself in the high slot, not covering anyone. MacArthur snuck to the back door, where a nice feed from Grabovski gave him an easy tap-in goal.
In overtime, the Caps again played decently, but were slightly outplayed by Toronto. And the shoot-out was pretty uneventful. OV and Semin didn't seem to want to fake Gustavsson. Matty, a surprise in the shootout (presumably BB playing the hot hand), put a great couple of moves on Gustavsson, but dinged the shot off the inside of the post and across the goal mouth.
On the other side, Kadri also had a pretty lame faking attempt to lead off; Grabovski followed with a nice move, but given that that move involved stopping moving towards the goal, I'm not sure how the goal didn't get waived. Kessel took the last attempt for Toronto, and dinged it off the outside of the post.
All in all, it was another game where the Caps played great for quite a while, but just took their feet off the gas for long enough to allow the dead to rise. Extremely disappointing.
And I should point out that, despite appearances from the save percentage, Neuvy had a very nice game. Two of the goals he had no chance on (one the open put-in, the one before that a sharp-angle deflection, and he had some fantastic saves as well. Definitely nothing for him to be ashamed of.
And MarJo also had a pretty nice game, centering the third line for the night. But Matty P was definitely the star for the night with the Caps. Here's to hoping that he doesn't let it go to his head, and keeps playing the way he played tonight.
I hope they get this lackadaisical attitude out of their systems well before the playoffs come, because it'll be a long summer break if they don't.