Reporting Sky Kerstein
“I thought we were skating well early, but so were they [the Islanders],” Head Coach Dale Hunter said. “It’s just mistakes and it’s costing us. People are getting beat. The video won’t lie. Two power-play goals where we didn’t get back to the net. We were too cute around the net. They were sliding around all over the place blocking [our passes]. We have to get pucks to the net.”
That pretty much sums up the very poor effort the Capitals gave tonight falling to one of the worst teams in the NHL, the New York Islanders, 3-0 at Verizon Center. It was the first time the Caps have been shut out this season and it snapped a seven game home winning streak and end up 3-1 during their four game home stand but it doesn’t get any easier as the Caps hit the road for three, starting tomorrow in Montreal, where they have only been 7-12-1 away from Verizon Center this season.
“‘It’s going to be a new day, a new game for us, but we’re going to be up for the challenge for sure,” Caps forward Joel Ward said. “We’re just excited to kind of put this one away obviously and move on and this is going to be a big character road trip for this team here.”
Besides the score, one reason they want to move on fast is that they could only muster 17 shots, while giving up 28, on the night against a team that played the day before and didn’t have one period where they got over seven shots.
“We got to start outshooting some teams,” Caps forward Brooks Laich said. “We have great goal tending but the law of averages is going to catch up with you. We got to stay out of the box and find some rhythm offensively and tilt the ice the other way where it’s a constant attack rather than a constant defend.”
Tonight wasn’t goalie Tomas Vokoun’s fault, he stopped 25 of 28, but two of the goals he let in were on the penalty kill as the Caps took six penalties on the night.
“We made mistakes on our penalty kill,” Hunter said. “It wasn’t the goaltending that was the problem. If you make mistakes [on the penalty kill] it’s gonna be in your net. Tomas [Vokoun] played well. He made some big stops early. He made some big saves for us.”
The Caps gave up a goal in each period, one by John Tavares and two by PA Parenteau, which was his first career multi-goal game. Also with the lack of effort, the Caps were hearing “boo’s” as early as the second period tonight.
“It is what it is, there’s not much you can say about it,” Caps forward Joel Ward said. “The fans are entitled to, they’ve back us up all year, to get shut out in our barn is definitely disappointing.”
The Caps, who are one point out of first in the Southeast Division, three game road trip starts in Montreal tomorrow and has stops in Carolina and Pittsburgh before they head home for one against Boston next Tuesday before the all-star break. All three teams they play on the road trip have been struggling, so if the Caps want to turn their road woes around, this is a great opportunity for it.
“It is nice though to be able to go on the road tomorrow in Montreal and play a team that we need to beat,” Caps forward Matt Hendricks said.
Check out what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Joel Ward & Matt Hendricks had to say following the loss.
Dale Hunter Postgame Video
Locker Room Video
Dale Hunter Postgame Audio
Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio
Joel Ward Postgame Audio
Matt Hendricks Postgame Audio