Reporting Sky Kerstein
The Capitals second period problems continued as they gave up four in the middle frame and two more in the third falling to the New York Rangers 6-3 from Verizon Center in a Friday afternoon matinée. The big problem was giveaways, the Caps had 17 of them to the Rangers six and every time they gave up the puck, the Rangers were right there to put it in the back of the net.
“It seemed like that,” Bruce Boudreau on the Rangers capitalizing on turnovers. “In the second period anyway it started, once it started, those four goals, it just seemed to snowball into that.”
Dennis Wideman had five giveaways, Dmitry Orlov had four and Marcus Johansson had two. Wideman, Johansson and Roman Hamrlik were all -3 on the day and Wideman and Hamrlik were benched early in the third period. Brooks Laich was thrown in to play some defense to give a quick rest to the other four defenseman.
It didn’t start that bad for the Caps as both teams played to a scoreless first period and both had eight shots on goal. The Caps had their chances, but Henrik Lundqvist made some spectacular saves, including a 2 on 1 with him sprawling out and somehow blocking a Joel Ward shot. Not to be out done, Michal Neuvirth also had a solid period making some great saves, but the second period was a different story.
First Marion Gaborik beat Michal Neuvirth and then on the power play Artem Ansimov beat Neuvirth glove side and then only 1:03 after that, Ruslan Fedotenko beat Neuvirth and almost eight minutes into the second it was 3-0 Rangers.
“We’re getting too down,” Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. “As soon as we get a goal scored against us it kind of feels like it’s the end of the world. It’s just one goal. It’s bound to happen every game. We’re killing our momentum by having them score and then giving up another one.”
The Caps though came back when Troy Brouwer put in a John Carlson rebound and then Carlson, on a 5-4 power play in which they were 0 for their last 31 on, rocketed one by Lundqvist to make it 3-2 Rangers late in the third. But the Caps couldn’t capitalize on the momentum and Brian Boyle got in the action and put in the Rangers fourth goal of the season. The Rangers added two more in the third and Alex Ovechkin rocketed one by Lundqvist but too little too late and the Caps lose only their second game in regulation at Verizon Center this season.
“We won the last two games,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson said after the game. “But I don’t think too many things are going our way.”
The lone bright spot tonight was Alex Ovechkin, who got his first home goal of the season, and had a direct impact on all three goals the Capitals scored.
“Well he definitely was a main factor in our first goal and he scored the third goal,” Boudreau said on Ovechkin. “He set up a couple really good plays. If that’s getting him out of his little funk, then that’s a bright spot out of a not necessarily bright game.
Michal Neuvirth had 27 saves in the loss and the majority of the ones he let by weren’t his fault. The Caps even out hit the Rangers 40-28, but were out shot 33-21. The six goals the Rangers scored were a season high and three Rangers got their second goals of the season tonight. The Caps don’t have a lot of time to think about this loss as they fly to Buffalo to take on the Sabres tomorrow night where Tomas Vokoun (10-4-0, 2.66 GAA, .910 Save pct.) will likely be in net for the Caps.
Check Out what Bruce Boudreau, Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, Karl Alzner & Joel Ward had to say following the game.
Locker Room Interviews Video (Karl Alzner, Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, Joel Ward)
Bruce Boudreau Press Conference Video
2nd 8:53 Brouwer (6). Carlson (8), Backstrom (17)
2nd 12:52 PP Carlson (4), Johansson (7). Orlov (2)
3rd 5:57 Ovechkin (8), Backstrom (18), Brouwer (7)
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio
Marcus Johansson Postgame Audio
Karl Alzner Postgame Audio
Joel Ward Postgame Audio