1st Period Woes: Capitals 4, Senators 5 (OT)

While the Washington Capitals showed they had enough cajones to battle back from a 3-1 deficit, they fell victim to the Ottawa Senators – yet another team in post-season desperation mode. On paper, and on the ice, the Sens out-shot, out-hit, out-hustled, and forced more turnovers than the Caps who fell victim to defensive meltdowns and spotty goaltending. Jose Theodore seemed to be not in the game yet when Peter Regin netted Ottawa’s first goal on the teams’ first shot of the night, quickly followed by a Jason Spezza PP tally when Mike Fisher was shoved into Theo by Shaone Morrisonn, and on a D-man miscommunication, Chris Campoli‘s puck had a clear lane to the net. Washington was able to battle back on goals from Mike Green, Mathieu Perreault, and two from Alex Semin before allowing Spezza to capitalize on a rebound for his second of the game -and to send the game to overtime. With 19 seconds left in the extra inning the Sens were able to capitalize on a Nicklas Backstrom tripping penalty, winning on a Alexei Kovalev goal – his first point since February 14th. DC now has dropped three straight contests, in which they’ve allowed the first goal to the opposition each contest.

The Good:

– Mike Green lit the lamp for the 18th time, and has now scored at least 18 goals in his last 3 seasons.  He leads all NHL defensemen in goals, points and assists (54). His current point total (72) is one shy of his career best, set last season. What slump?

– What a solid effort from Jason Chimera.  5 hits, 1 blocked shot, 1 takeaway (and then showing his amazing speed with the puck) and an assist. We also saw the grit we had heard so much about, as several times he skated quite the distance to stick up for fellow Caps. I’m pretty sure Chimera would have skated up the concourse to fight a beer vendor for giving the wrong change last night.

– It seems sometimes that Alex Semin is playing a game of horse with himself. Laterally-moving, one-legged wrister? No problem.

– With some nifty stick work Mathieu Perreault was able to add his second goal in as many games. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Brendan Morrison makes his return.

The Bad:

– The Caps handled the puck like it was a hot potato last night with horrible turnovers and bad passes all over the ice.

– DC is now 10-12 in overtime games this season and have only 2 wins in regulation in their last 11 contests. Is trouble brewing?

– It seemed like offensively the Caps of old took the ice last night, relying more on blasts from the point than hard work up-front for goals. I realize that Brooks Laich (hurt pride) is still out with his broken face, but Mike Knuble putting up only 1 shot on goal simply can’t happen.

The Ugly:

– The “Not so” Special teams: While the Caps were 1-for-5 with their man advanage, the Senators converted 3 of their 4 chances. I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit.