In the first night of their home-and-home with the Boston Bruins, the Washington Capitals couldn’t ever find a way to turn the momentum back their way following early goals by the B’s David Krejci and Milan Lucic. The Caps played flat for most of the first two periods (even after Matt Hendricks revisited some unfinished business with Gregory Campbell), not being able to pierce Bruins netminder Tim Thomas until Marcus Johansson caught Jason Chimera‘s feed from behind the net. Thomas finished the night with 35 saves en route to his third win of the season, while the Caps goaltending duties were split between Semyon Varlamov (who stopped 13-of-14) and Michal Neuvirth (5-of-7), who left 12 minutes into the game complaining of dizziness and a headache. The night was rounded out with Boston’s Matt Hunwick cashing in early in the third, followed by Big John Erskine dropping the gloves with Lucic to complete his Gordie Howe hat trick.
After seeing Neuvi’s 10-game home winning streak and Jeff Schultz‘s no-goals on ice for streak were broken, the Capitals will look to get back on track Thursday night when they face Boston in their opening night at TD Garden.
– Good on Marcus Johansson for scoring his first NHL goal. May many more (soon) follow.
– After tonight’s performance, we firmly support Jeff Schultz’s promotion to Staff Sergeant. In addition to holding down the fort on the Caps’ PK and leading the team in SHTOI at 3:46, including magical play with Dave Steckel and Brooks Laich to deny the Bruins 5-on-3.
– Penalty Kill Perfection at 25-for-25 on the season.
– Matt Hendricks, business as usual. Drawin’ penalties and winnin’ fights.
– In a game when both Hendricks and John Erskine fought, where was DJ King‘s “presense”? 4:05 TOI, no hits, no blocked shots, and only 1 shot on net (which was blocked) isn’t really all that terrifying.
– While the Capitals as a whole finished the night taking 51% of their draws, MoJo (22%) and Tomas Fleischmann (40%) still need to pull their weight.
– Power plays. Not only were the Caps 0-for-4, they were only able to muster 4 shots on the night as the Boston PK-ers repeatedly cleared the puck. DC’s offense hasn’t been able to catch on yet, and averaging a shot per attempt with the man advantage isn’t the way to do it.