I wasn't able to watch last night's Caps game at the Joe until very late. And for much of the game, I was wishing I hadn't bothered.
Washington actually got the first shot, with OV trying a wraparound, of all things. And it was pretty even for the first seven minutes or so. But then Detroit got a power play, and just started pouring it on. By the end of the period, Neuvy probably felt like he was at the wrong end of a shooting gallery, as he had stopped twenty-two shots (IIRC, 12 of those shots were on the power play), and seen several more fly wide.
But he probably was feeling decent about that, since he'd stopped everything, and since Washington had cashed in on their lone power play of the period (on the only shot, I believe. And one of five shots in the period).
But that kind of discrepancy is going to catch up, and it did, as both Miller and DeKeyser scored in the second, despite the Caps only being two behind in Fenwick on the period (and only one behind in penalties).
The third period's final numbers were pretty close, but almost all of Washington's action was in their one power play (seven shots, I believe, and didn't score), whereas Detroit's was spread across the period. And three of Washington's remaining shots came in consecutive seconds, as Wellman got the puck in the slot, sliding across, and fired three times, putting the third into the net. That left only six unblocked attempts across the remaining 17:57 of the period. That isn't horrible, but it isn't good, either.
And two minutes (and a few seconds) after Wellman's goal, Detroit scored again to retake the lead to force the Caps into desperation mode. But they still didn't manage to muster much, until that penalty was called, six minutes and change later. And they still didn't manage to tie it up, despite that very impressive outburst.
But they pulled Neuvy a short while after, and managed to even the game with only seven seconds left. We thought OV had scored it, although Ward was eventually credited with a tip-in (seeing the replay, it was obvious there was a tip, but it was less than obvious that Wardo touched it, and he certainly didn't act like he had). In any event, it was quite a rollercoaster several minutes.
And the overtime? Well, more of what we'd been seeing, as Detroit dominated, but wasn't able to score.
So on to the "skills competition" (personally, I'd call it the coin flip). And the only real skills seen there were by the goalies, who each stopped the first six attempts (several of which, on each side, were really terrible; OV actually had his best attempt in quite a while, but it still didn't work) they faced. Then Eaves scored for Detroit, and Beagle came up. I gave up as soon as I saw who was taking it. And I was not surprised at all at the result. Has Oates not yet learned that Beagle is where scoring chances go to die?
After that shooting gallery of a first period, the PK did well (I'd count them as extremely lucky not to've given up a goal in the first, but deserved it the rest of the way).
The power play was pretty good; they only had two chances, and scored on one and had many chances in the second. In just over three minutes of power play time, they had more than half the shot attempts that Detroit had in ten minutes on the man advantage. Nothing to sneeze at, there.
And a lot could be written about Neuvy. Despite the three goals, he's the only reason they were even in the game at all. This game could have easily been a blow-out, with forty-five shots on net.
Anyway, a slightly disappointing, though well-deserved result of the game. And again, the Caps need to start winning a lot of games, really quickly, if they hope to make the playoffs.
The quest resumes tomorrow, again with Detroit, back at the phone booth. Go Caps!