The Capitals fell to the New Jersey Devils tonight by a score of 5-0, the second time in three games they have been blanked by that score.
The Devils started fast and took full advantage of a Brooks Laich holding call to score on the power play only six minutes into the contest, with Patrik Elias tipping a point drive past Braden Holtby. Holtby was announced as the starter after Michal Neuvirth re-aggravated a lower body injury during the morning skate. Jason Arnott scored a goal on a wraparound that caught Braden Holtby way out of position halfway through the frame before Devils rookie Mattias Tedenby was hauled down on a breakaway by John Erskine. Tedenby converted the ensuing penalty shot easily to put his team up by 3 heading into the break. The beginning of the second period saw the Caps apply excellent pressure before conceding another goal to Arnott; again catching the rookie goalie Holtby way out of position, effectively putting the game out of reach. Dainius Zubrus closed out the scoring with a shot from the slot eight minutes into the second. The final frame was uneventful, as the Devils locked down to get Johan Hedberg a shutout.
YUCK. I don't think I've ever been this disgusted with a Caps performance in a long time. Other games the Capitals have lost this season have been against good teams, like the Bruins and Flyers, and okay teams like the Thrashers. The Devils are the worst team in the league, without the best goalie of all time and best player, and the Caps were nothing short of awful. Bag skate them tomorrow.
The Caps may have given up four even strength goals, but the top line was not on the ice for one. That's a nice change of scenery. At least they didn't give up when the Caps were down big.
Mike Green left the bench halfway through the third period and did not return. Uh-oh.
Semyon Varlamov was on the bench backing up Holtby tonight; his presence likely means that Holtby will be sent down to Hershey (where he belongs) tomorrow. Thank god.
Caps face Carolina in Raleigh on Wednesday. Gonna have to be a big improvement if they have any prayer of slowing down the red hot Eric Staal and Hurricanes. Game time is scheduled for 7 P.M.
Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!