Shooting into a wall

I didn't get a chance to turn last night's Caps game on until nine o'clock or so, but I was able to watch the entire thing.  And I was mostly glad I did.  It felt a lot like the Buffalo Sabres game the other week.  That is, completely dominant performance by the Caps skaters, spoiled by a magnificent effort by the opposing goaltender.

Seriously, stopping 90% of power play shots is quite a good performance; Bob stopped seventeen of eighteen.  And yeah, eighteen power play shots on goal is a ridiculously high number; kudos to the Caps on that.

And kudos to Wilson for being quite the magnet for penalties of late.  He drew three in this game, and several more in the last several games.  If he can keep drawing them like that, then he can stay on the top line forever, in my book.

To get into more specifics, the one power play shot that got through Bob came in the fourth minute, as Fehr deflected Carlson's wrister from the slot over Bob's arm.

It took twelve minutes for Columbus to answer, and it was only on their second or third shot, but Foligno was able to waltz in from the point and deflect the puck off the near post and and in.  Terrible defense by the forwards, there, giving him so much time and space.  And a beautiful shot by him; Holtby probably should have had it, but he didn't leave a whole lot of room for shooting.

Despite more than doubling up the Jackets on shots in the first, the period ended

The second period looked like it would be much more even, with Columbus keeping Washington from getting a shot on goal for the first eight minutes.  But they only got a couple shots of their own in that time, and then they committed several penalties.  Although the Caps didn't score in the period, they still ended up with fifteen shots (to the Jackets' four, so it was less even than the first period).

So the game went into the third tied at one.  Almost halfway through, Brouwer got his first in a while on a beautiful deflection of Niskanen's pass to the side of the net.  I really wish the Caps would try more plays like this, as Bob had no chance on it.

Unfortunately, it took Columbus only a minute and a half to answer (does this sound familiar, if somewhat less so than last year?), as Connauton's point shot trickled through, between Holtby's glove-arm and body.  He had a great game, but that's definitely one Holtby would want back.

Over the last nine minutes, nobody was able to find the back of the net, so off we went to overtime, again.  Laich and Beagle did get a very nice chance, early on, but Beagle couldn't lift his shot over Bob's outstretched leg.  Shortly thereafter, the Caps got whistled for a penalty that was guaranteed to last until the end of overtime.  With twenty seconds left, Foligno's one-timer from the half-wall went over Holtby's shoulder, glove-side, putting the nail in the coffin.

Hard to be upset with the performance, overall, but the result was certainly disappointing.  I'll talk about it separately, but the game after was Saturday with the home rematch against Tampa.

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