Caps Not Motivated Enough to Beat Pens

When the Capitals met the Penguins up in Pittsburgh in March, it was an ugly, fast, and physical game which the Caps lost 6-2. The rivalry was just as ugly Thursday night in Chinatown. The Caps lacked energy and although there was clearly frustration expressed, it wasn’t enough to turn the game into a winning game.

Coach switched the lines up again:  8-19-77, 65-92-14, 25-90-43, 26-10-83. Defense: 44-74, 27-2, 88-9.

First Period: 44 Seconds to Score…

The Pens started it off just 44 seconds into the game with a goal by Matt Cullen and a miscalculation in the play by the Caps. And yes, Orlov was on the ice when the Pens scored…Another few minutes and the Caps were on the power play thanks to a Pittsburgh delay of game. Old friend Eric Fehr blocked a shot and deterred the Caps from shooting. Cullen was a shooting machine–he had more attempts than the Caps on the PP (they had zero)! Kris Letng would make the mistake of slashing Evgeny Kuznetsov with barely a minute left in the period and the PP would carry over to the second as the Caps failed to take advantage. The teams were pretty evenly matched this period, except for the 1-0 Pens score at the end of the first.

Second Period: 28 Seconds to Score…

Caps began the period with a one-man advantage and yet, Matt Cullen did it again going short, this time 28 seconds into the period to score their second goal. Tom Wilson slams Nick Bonino in the corner boards and is dealt a five minute major–Pens PP. The Caps kept control of the ice by winning the faceoff and even getting a shot off (Orpik) Big cheers in Verizon for the successful PK. Surviving the PK wasn’t enough because Cono Sheary would score shortly after bringing the score 3-0 pens. (Yes, Orlov again -2) Another penalty-this time Justin Williams. Pens took their own penalty for holding and we were four on four for 1.32.

Finally, with 2:41 left in the second, Marcus Johansson scored his 16th goal off a pass from John Carlson and Andre Burakovsky. 3-1 Pens. The period wouldn’t end without one more penalty- the sniping between Alex Ovechkin and Kris Letang finally sent both of them to the locker room with Ovi embellishing over the Letang cross check.

Third Period: Signs of Life…

No quick goal from the Pens this period but it only took about 3 1/2 minutes for the Caps to end up on the PK, again. This time it was Daniel Winnik hi-sticking. Add one more from Matt Niskanen from cross checking and the second PK for the period. Marcus would get his second goal for the night with less than 10 minutes left in the period to close the gap to one. And as if by magic, Andre Burakovsky would tip in the puck and tie the game up; helped by John Carlson and Justin Williams. The phone booth erupted with cheers and hope. 3-3


60 minutes weren’t enough for the Caps to redeem themselves. Sadly, it would be Sidney Crosby who scored the game winning goal. Further review of the play did not overturn the goal. Caps lose 4-3

Its time for the Caps to take a look at their weakest links as they prepare for the Playoffs next week. One obvious after tonight is Dmitry Orlov. We didn’t want to think it but he isn’t playing where we had expected to see him. The second big question is Tom Wilson–is he too much of a liability with his ill-timed hits? Of course, we need to think about the defense and their lack of giving Holtby what he needs. Just some end of the night thoughts…

Author: Maggie Marcum

Managing Editor for Friends in Cold Places.

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