Rangers-Caps recap

This game was a lot less eventful than the previous two meetings but there’s definitely a lot to talk about. Like about how the Capitals offense went to sleep again or about how Marc Staal completely shut down our top line again or about Matt Hendricks being on a two-game goal streak. What’s going to show up on the highlights are Wojtek Wolski and Mats Zuccarello deking Braden Holtby out of his pads in the shootout. As bad as he looked during then, it’s hard for me to blame the loss on him. When you only have 17 shots on net in regulation time, you’re not going to win much. Either way, it’s another two points that got away from us in a skills competition and another OTL in the books. The good news? We still keep pace with Tampa Bay a bit.

Thoughts/Observations

– Just as I thought, Marc Staal was all over Alexander Ovechkin for the entire game. He didn’t have much room to work with and the first line didn’t seem like a factor until overtime. He skated over 29 minutes tonight and his only job was to get in Ovechkin’s way and he did just that.

– There was a point where Washington only had 13 shots on net through 52 minutes and that’s just not going to get it done. It doesn’t matter who you play or who is in net. What was worrying me the most was that the shots we were taking didn’t have any speed or velocity on them at all. Marty Biron only had to move to make a save a couple times in the game. However, Matt Hendricks, Jay Beagle and Marcus Johansson can only produce so much offense on their own.

– Mind telling me what happened to our second line? I know that having Mathieu Perreault center the line kind of limits their effectiveness but Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble were invisible the whole game.

– I’m going to call Matt Hendricks “the secret weapon” now. Had a pretty goal in the second period to put the Caps on top 1-0 and an even nicer goal in the shootout. Also, Johansson set him up perfectly on the first goal. I keep seeing great things from MoJo90 in pieces so I’m excited to see what he can do with a little more experience under his belt.

– Like I said, don’t blame Holtby for the loss. Don’t get me wrong, he was abysmal in the shootout but in regulation, he stopped 28 out of 29 shots and kept Washington in the game the entire time. The shootout is kind of like Kryptonite for a goaltender like him, though. Really aggressive, loves to challenge shooters, goes out of his net a lot, he was just asking to be faked out on both of those two goals. Frustrating but what do you expect from a kid who has 8 starts under his belt? He’ll learn soon.

– Is it safe to say that Gaborik is still a Caps killer? Scored the game tying goal for the Rangers…….kind of. The puck was originally shot by Brian Boyle but it went off of Gaborik’s hand and Alzner’s stick and into the net. Fluky goal but shit happens.

– What in the world happened to Michael Del Zotto this year? He was brutal tonight.

– The powerplay still sucks and it looked worse than I’ve ever seen it before tonight. Can’t control the puck in the offensive zone, can’t get shots on net, can’t even enter the zone properly. When DJ King is getting shifts with the man advantage then you know something’s wrong.

Three Stars:
1.Marc Staal

2.Matt Hendricks

3. Marian Gaborik

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