The one thing I didn't understand, going into the Caps game against the Panthers, Saturday night, was why Holtby got the night off. There was a night off on either side, so it didn't seem necessary. Peters was fine, and I don't think it hurt them, but I was surprised.
I wrote that I was worried about a mental let-down facing Florida the other night. Well, they managed to avoid that fate; they heavily dominated possession for the first two periods. They only got one goal to show for it, but they forced a number of very good (or very lucky, in a couple cases) saves out of Montoya. And that's really the best you can ask; sometimes you just don't get the bounces.
And I should also mention that that was with the Cats holding a 127-7 advantage in seconds of power play time. So really nothing to complain about over that span.
Oh, and I should point out the goal itself; the Chimmer-Ward line doesn't tend to get pretty goals, but this one was. Ward worked the puck around the boards, behind the net, over to Fehr in the corner. The entire defense collapsed on that side, and Fehr found Chimmer just at the far side of the net, all alone. He had a perfect set-up for a one-timer, but faked it and brought it back to the other side for a completely open backhand. I joke about Chimmer being "Stonehands" from time to time, but that was really nice work.
And I should also point out that that line was on fire, all night, getting a lot of good chances. It might not've worked out, beyond that one tally, but that wasn't the fault of effort. Just excellent goaltending and a little bad luck.
In the third period, with Florida lengthening its lead in power play time, the game was tied up. It was a largely uneventful period, shot-wise, but on the power play, Boyes found the rebound of a Bergenheim shot, and slotted it home. Pretty sure Peters didn't know where the puck was, with all the bodies around him.
Anyway, that was enough to send the game into overtime, where both teams got some chances, but nobody was able to tally.
Which sent us back to the shootout again; I'm already getting tired of that. Twenty-five percent last season was quite enough; we don't need to "improve" on that, this year.
On the plus side, the results were much better, this time around. Kuzya, Backis, and OV all tallied, which Huberdeau getting the lone score for Florida. So, the result was good, even if the method of getting there was a little less than ideal.
Oh, and Backstrom failed to record a point in his 500th career game; disappointed for him, in that respect.