There were no moral victories in last night's Caps/Penguins game. The Caps didn't deserve to win, and they didn't.
The game got going quickly, once going almost fourteen minutes without a faceoff. During that time, there were very few chances for either team (not a big surprise, I guess, as chances tend to lead to stoppages, via goalies holding pucks, deflecting them out of play, or watching them go into the net).
And possession stayed close until nearly the end of that time. But after that, for an entire period, the Penguins solidly dominated. The Caps stayed close, with Halak only letting one in (and that, a wicked deflection that was impossible to stop save via sheer luck). Brouwer also made a very nice play early in this stretch, at the last second breaking up what appeared to be a 2-on-1 by diving (from behind) to deflect the pass across.
The Caps started catching up, possessionally, in the second half of the second, and even more strongly in the third (in fact, they did catch up in the third, according to Fenwick), but they didn't have that many great chances (and were helped by power plays).
They were screwed on a power play, though, as Backstrom took a phantom penalty a minute into a power play to end that one. So they finished with three minutes and change of power play time, getting eight shot attempts (six on net) during that time. Not bad numbers, there.
On the penalty kill, they did not do well; Pittsburgh attempted seven shots (all on net) during three-ish minutes of power play time. They were lucky not to give up any power play goals; that's a pace of over 120 shots per sixty minutes.
Individually, I don't think anyone had a really good game. Orlov and Green need to get back together, because they each made some really terrible mistakes last night (Green did have a couple of nice plays to somewhat offset his gaffes). For whatever reason, they don't seem to take as many chances when playing together.
Anyway, that makes 1-4 record since trade deadline. That's not exactly getting it done. They basically need to go 11-4-0 the rest of the way to have a chance of getting in. This team has shown nothing to convince me they're capable of that (and that's ignoring the California road trip coming in about a week). Put a fork in 'em. Is there time to get into lottery position?