It’s been twelve days since a shorthanded and Ovi-less Caps team beat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins 5-3 at Verizon Center and the Bruins were out for some revenge taking it to the Caps 4-1 and snapping an eight game Super Bowl Sunday home winning streak for the Caps.
“I don’t think we gave it as much effort as I thought we could of,” Capitals forward Matt Hendricks said.
That might be true, but the Caps had over 30 shots for the first time since December 13th, 23 games, and only the second time in 2012 they’ve out shot the opponent. The Caps also 28 shots, Alzner had eleven by himself, but the biggest issue was not taking advantage of scoring opportunities.
“We created stuff, we had chances,” Caps All-Star Dennis Wideman said. “We didn’t score but against a team like that you can’t give up the opportunities that we gave up.”
Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Joel Ward all missed great opportunities to give the Caps an early lead, but the Bruins took advantage with two goals in the first, one by Milan Lucic and the other by Brad Marchand. Both goals were defensive breakdowns, but Marchand’s goal had a funny bounce that made it tougher on Tomas Vokoun, who ended up with 26 saves in the loss and had a few really nice saves to keep the Caps in it.
The second period could turn out to be one of the worst in the season for the Caps, even though they didn’t give up a goal and out shot the Bruins. But they lost Brooks Laich to a left knee injury when he was hit into the boards by Dennis Seidenberg. Laich, whose one of the toughest players on the team, didn’t return and is listed as day-to-day.
“Well, I wasn’t able to finish, which was disappointing,” Laich said when leaving the Verizon Center on crutches and a brace on his left knee. “But that was more on a precautionary note. I’ll get some ice on it and see how I feel when I wake up.”
Brooks is one of the leaders of the team, a very good defensive forward and is huge on the penalty kill.
“It’s tough, we lost a warrior in Brooks,” Caps forward Matt Hendricks said on Laich. “We missed him.”
Even though Laich left on crutches, Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter won’t know how bad the injury is until tomorrow.
“We’re going to see tomorrow,” Hunter said. “He’s day-to-day, right now. Brooksie is one of those guys that try to do anything for the team. He’s a team guy.”
Laich also isn’t sure on how bad it is.
“We’ll see tomorrow,” Laich said following the loss. “I’m not a doctor, but these things sometimes there’s some swelling and you’ve got to wait to see what happens. I don’t think it’s anything serious. In the past I’ve been a fast healer, so we’ll see when I wake up.”
In the third period, Tyler Seguin put the game on ice when he deflected in a Brad Marchand pass into a wide open net to make it 3-0. Later in the period the Caps got one back on a 3 on 2 when Marcus Johansson tried to pass it across the crease to Joel Ward, but it when off a Bruins skate and in for his 11th of the season. The Bruins later got an empty netter to make it 4-1 and put the Caps into a deeper hole as they fight for a playoff spot.
Yesterday Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov broke his nose when a puck went off a stick and hit him right under the visor. Before the game today, Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter commented on it.
“He’s good, first smack with the puck, it happens,” Hunter said. “It won’t be his last, I’ll say that much.”
Well Hunter was right as Orlov took another puck to the face which re-injured his nose. Orlov went right to the locker room and didn’t return. Hunter said his eyes were watering too much and that’s why he didn’t return and added that he doesn’t expect Orlov to miss any time.
Ovechkin, playing in his second game since his three game suspension, played just under 23 minutes and led the team with seven shots on goal and also a team high seven hits.
“He’s been good,” Hunter said on Ovechkin. “He’s got his opportunities again and he’s skating well, but definitely you’d like to score some more goals.”
The Caps are on the outside looking in on the playoff race and with two more home games this week, Tuesday vs. Florida and Thursday vs. Winnipeg, they know they can’t afford to lose any more home games.
“We need the points and everyone knows it,” Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin said on not winning today.
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Matt Hendricks, Marcus Johansson, Dennis Wideman and Karl Alzner had to say following the loss.
3rd 12:04 Johansson (11), Perreault (7), Ward (10)
Dale Hunter Postgame Audio
Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio
Matt Hendricks Postgame Audio
Marcus Johansson Postgame Audio
Dennis Wideman Postgame Audio
Karl Alzner Postgame Audio