Starry Starry Night: Capitals 3, Stars 4 (Shoot Out)

The Washington Capitals lost for the first time in 2010 tonight, dropping the middle contest of a 5-game home stand in a shootout to the Dallas Stars, 4-3. It was a see-saw of a game for the Caps, who looked aggressive and lead the Stars 2-0 on goals by Tom Poti and Alex Ovechkin after throwing 42 of their 53 shots on goal in the first 40 minutes. Dallas’ backstop Marty Turco, of whom just returned from having a golden horseshoe lodged in his Jimmy Johnson, was the only reason Dallas was able to stay in the game so long- making improbable saves, turning away 17 shots from the Alex’s, and biding time until his team could crawl back into the contest. After 3 goals on 6 shots in just over 6 minutes of the third period, DC was shook from it’s complacency and sent scrambling to remain in the game. With a new haircut and Momma OV in the stands, the Great 8 broke Stephane Robidas‘ ankles and lit the lamp for the second time to tie the game at 3 with 3:16 remaining to send the game to extra innings. After a scoreless 4-on-4 overtime, the Stars were able to end the Capitals’ franchise-best win streak at 13 behind Loui Eriksson‘s shoot-out goal.

Marty Turco is now 4-0-1 all time against Washington. Learn more after the jump.


The Good:

– Welcome back Mr. Ovechkin. You made your presence known by lighting the lamp twice to break a 6-game goal-less streak and to tie Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead at 44 goals.

Tom Poti is continuing his shirt-worthy season with a beautiful goal after taking a centering pass from Dave Steckel. Poti now has 4 goals and 11 assists in 25 games this season.

– For the better part of the game, the Caps were able to get the jump on out-passes and race through the transition zone to Turco, all the while standing up the Stars as they raced through center ice.

– Grinders Dave Steckel, Matt Bradley, and Boyd Gordon played with intensity and looked downright ornery on the ice. Looks like some guys don’t want to sit in the press box anymore.

The Bad:

– Aside from John Carlson, the Caps’ bluelining corps looked lost and suffered from many defensive zone breakdowns. Boudreau might need the big RIGHT and LEFT signs I had in Kindergarten to help straighten this mess out.

– Dear Joe Corvo, please don’t leave Eriksson all alone in a sudden death overtime. Thanks, Caps fans everywhere.

– While Semyon Varlamov kept Dallas off the board early with fantastic stops, he didn’t fare as well in the third… which unfortunately has turned status quo for Varly.

The Ugly:

– Third period penalties proved to be the undoing of the Caps against the Stars’ 19th ranked power play on the road. Imagine what happens when Washington faces the Habs or the Flyers in the playoffs and gives up meaningless penalties.

Alex Semin‘s shootout attempt. For future reference, its “left-right, left-right” not “left-left-toe pick-headbutt Turco”.