The Capitals finally won a game in regulation. Ironically, the one game they have won in regulation was also arguably their sloppiest. Tomas Vokoun was phenomenal in goal, saving 33 of 34 shots. The Capitals actually looked very strong in the first period, with a power play goal by Nicklas Backstrom (8:47, assisted by Alex Semin and Mike Knuble) and an awe-inducing wrap around goal by Marcus Johansson (12:01, assisted by Mike Knuble and Dennis Wideman). For the first 19:33, the Capitals were dominating the Senators. Then it happened. Peter Regin scored at the 19:34 mark in the first period with a beautiful wrist shot (assists by Nick Foligno and David Rundblad). After that goal, the Senators found their second wind and the Capitals looked flat. How flat were they? Take a look at the shot totals by period:
1st period: Washington- 14 Ottawa- 8
2nd period: Washington- 4 Ottawa- 12
3rd period: Washington- 8 Ottawa – 14
I must give credit to the Senators. They never gave up, they played very inspired hockey, and Alex Auld did a solid job in net. He was aggressive to a fault, and I’m surprised that the Capitals did not take advantage of that. After the first period, the Senators played like they just chugged ten pots of Columbia’s strongest coffee. Tons of energy. That’s no excuse for the Capitals to look listless and sloppy though. I’m especially disappointed with the Caps defense. They did not clear Vokoun’s rebounds, gave the Senators tons of chances, and also got in Vokoun’s way numerous times when he was trying to find and cover the puck. They have to play better than this. I know they can, and hopefully they will.
All in all, this win says one thing: The Capitals finally have a goalie that they can lean on: Vokoun. He can’t do this every night though, so the Capitals offense has to get more consistent. With that said…
Crack open a cold bottle of Czechvar (or whatever Czech beer you prefer) Vokoun, you have earned it.