The Caps franchise best six game home win streak to start a season ends as they fall 5-2 to the Dallas Stars. The Stars blew open a 2-2 game beating Michal Neuvirth three times in the first 8:05 of the third to put it away.
The Caps had goals by Alexander Semin and John Carlson, but Semin took two stick penalties, including one that gave up the fourth Stars goal, and Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau addressed it following the game.
“He can’t be leading our team in penalties with nine minors in thirteen games”, Boudreau said. “It can’t be done”
Boudreau also pointed out that he took ice time away from Semin after his second penalty saying that Semin only had two shifts the rest of the game and both were on the power play. This is the second game in a row the Caps have lost and they have been outscored 10-3 in the last five periods of period.
“It’s like embarrassing when you’re on the ice and guys are beating you,” said Capitals veteran Mike Knuble on the defense. “The other night, got beat one on four and, just playing like a bunch of losers like that, you’re going to lose if you play like that, you’re going to lose every night in the league, let alone talking about playoffs and all that.”
Knuble went further on the team, “We look great when we’re all committed. We all look like a bunch of clowns when we don’t, very average team when we’re not all committing.”
The work ethic also hasn’t been there for the Caps the last two games. Even though they out hit the Stars by one tonight and did better in the face off circles, the Caps didn’t play with much urgency tonight and it showed especially early in the third period.
“We were fortunate to be tied at the end of the first two periods,” Boudreau said. “We talked about playing one good period. In the first 15 or 20 seconds [in the third period] they scored a goal. We’ve lost a lot of battles in the third periods [in] the last two games. The compete level wasn’t as great as we’d like it to be.”
The Caps were 1-4 on the power play and had 32 shots on goals, but with a tough home and home against the New Jersey Devils on Friday and Saturday, changes are sure to be made to get them out of this five period funk.
“I think our work ethic needs to be better,” Caps forward Matt Hendricks said. “I think our commitment to the details wasn’t very good tonight, we had spurts of it, but for the most part it wasn’t very good, the onus is on us as a group to be better.”
Two side notes: Before tonight’s game the Capitals announced that they traded forward Francois Bouchard to the New York Rangers for defenseman Tomas Kundratek. Kundratek will report to the AHL Hershey Bears. Capitals defenseman John Erskine played in his 400th career NHL game.
1st 15:43 PP Semin (3), Backstrom (14), Laich (7)
2nd 15:56 Carlson (2), Eakin (2), Johansson (3)
Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Mike Knuble, Alex Ovechkin, Matt Hendricks & John Erskine had to say following the loss.
Locker Room Interviews Video (Mike Knuble, John Erskine, Matt Hendricks, Alex Ovechkin)
Bruce Boudreau Press Conference Video
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Mike Knuble Postgame Audio
Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio
Matt Hendricks Postgame Audio
John Erskine Postgame Audio