Get the coffee ready, Caps faithful! We’re in for a late night as our boys play the Edmonton Oilers at the brand new Rogers Place. In a game that started at 9:30pm, local time, this was the first meeting of the Caps versus rookie phenom Connor McDavid. Can Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals defense stifle McDavid and the Oilers offense?
In the first period, Edmonton brought an onslaught of offense and had great zone time. They peppered Holtby with pucks but could not get anything through. Benoit Pouliot committed the games first penalty and was called for cross-checking against Alex Ovechkin. The Caps could not convert on the powerplay so the game remained scoreless. Jay Beagle was called for holding the stick of Connor McDavid, and the Caps were on their first penalty kill. As the Oilers were also unsuccessful on their powerplay, the Caps kept them off the scoreboard. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was also called for tripping against Evgeny Kuznetsov, and the Caps were back on the powerplay. However, they were still unsuccessful in getting a puck past Cam Talbot. Daniel Winnik was also called for a penalty against the Caps. He was caught tripping Connor McDavid. This seems to be a pretty penalty heavy period! Although, neither team could get anything past the netminders. Caps and Oilers tied, 0-0.
With :44 seconds remaining on Winnik’s penalty, the Caps started the second period shorthanded. Oilers could not convert, so back to even-strength go the Caps. The Oilers had a great oddman rush, but Karl Alzner was there with a sprawling play that knocked the puck away. Caps had a great chance as Sanford almost got his first of his NHL career, but Talbot was there with a fantastic save to keep the game even. Backstrom had a point blank shot but Talbot made another
spectacular save to keeps the Caps off the board. A rather lucky deflection off a Pouliot’s skate put the puck past Holtby and gave Edmonton the lead. With less than three minutes remaining, Pouliot threw a puck off Holtby’s back that bounced into the net. Almost immediately, Pouliot was called for a penalty for closing his hand on the puck. During that powerplay for the Caps, TJ Oshie and Cam Talbot got matching minors when Oshie furiously tried to get a puck from under the tendy and Talbot threw a few shots to Oshie’s face with his blocker. Things are getting fiesty at the end of the third. Bad guys up, 2-0.
Alex Ovechkin finally breaks through Talbot and got the Caps on the board 9 seconds into the third period. This is Ovi’s 4th goal in four games. Dmitry Orlov almost tied the game with a shot that barely missed. However, Edmonton got their 2 goal lead back almost immediately. Patrick Maroon tapped a rebound in past Holtby as Braden was flat on his stomach from blocking a shot from McDavid who hit post. Caps were this close to tying the game and just as quickly lost their momentum, viewing another 2 goal defecit. Lars Eller was called for hooking, sending the Caps to their fourth penalty kill. Edmonton was able to convert on this powerplay, scoring their fourth goal. Milan Lucic deflected the puck past Holtby, glove side high. Right after the faceoff, Oshie was called for yet another Capitals penalty. Caps go a mandown. Yet again. The Oilers did
not score on this PP. However, it did not matter. Caps lose to the Oilers, 1-4.
The Caps are having a VERY lazy looking and slow game. They look very tired tonight. There were WAY too many penalties committed by the Caps in this game. Not sure how they expected to win when they played half the game a mandown. While Holtby did he best to keep pucks out of the net, Edmonton had some very fortunate deflections and definitely took advantage of the penalty parade the Caps put on. The Caps are now 3-2-1.
As they continue their Canadien road trip, the next Caps game is on Saturday night at 10pm, local time, against the Vancouver Canucks. We are lucky this one is on a Saturday night, as this is sure to be another late one!