Canes beat Caps 4-3 (OT), Faulk Everything

Photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin

By the time the Carolina Hurricanes made their way to DC, the Washington Capitals desperation for a win became strong enough to overpower any shyness the team may have developed when it comes to scoring.

Troy Brouwer ended 134 minutes without a goal by going backhand on Cam Ward. Jay Beagle turned a perimeter shot from Dmitry Orlov into the Caps second goal. But the Canes came back quick with goals by Tlusty and Larose in less than five minutes. A whiff by Dennis Wideman led to Brandon Sutter’s pretty breakaway goal. Brooks Laich tied it up by giving and going with Marcus Johansson late in the third period.

OT? Faulk. Canes beat Caps 4-3 (OT).

  • Jay Beagle had a big night. He crashed early, scoring his first goal of the season, and beating Ward on another after time expired. With soft hands like his, you gotta wonder why he ever thought he needed to fight back in October.
  • Halfway through the first period, the Capitals struggled to clear their zone. Once they did, they began a line change– but a quick turnover in neutral turned dangerous. Instead of bailing and letting the next line deal with it, Mathieu Perreault stayed on and won possession. Little things– and little guys– like this really do mean a lot.
  • What went wrong on Jiri Tlusty‘s goal? It was a bang-bang  play following a neutral-zone turnover, but Alzner and Carlson had their guys marked. Tlusty was Carolina’s third guy in, and neither Halpern nor Brouwer successfully got on him. Is that a personal failure between the two, or are these players confused about their defensive assignments?
  • Even our pristine deductive minds are challenged to solve that second period kerfuffle. Skinner bollywoggled Dmitry Orlov headlong into the boards, and Alex Ovechkin took umbrage. Gleason expressed that he felt Ovechkin’s actions were untoward, and fisticuffs ensued. Orlov joined the scuffle, but the referees found his mannerisms ungentlemanly. The defenseman served a 10-schilling penalty for abuse and ruffianism.
  • The Capitals first period was one of the best of their season. They created nine scoring chances and crashed Ward’s net with wonderful regularity. At some point– either after the first intermission or Tlusty’s goal– the Caps got meek. While possession stats didn’t decline steeply, shot distances noticeably grew. Maybe they were afraid of all the odd-man breaks, but most of those happened after the Caps started playing cowardly hockey. There’s a compelling strategical argument to be made for increasing Washington’s offensive tilt, but at this point our preferred reasoning is that it’s just plain ol’ more fun to watch.
  • To their credit, the Capitals fired shots like the end of Robocop. Brooks Laich led the effort with 7, only Schultz and Aucoin didn’t get in on the action. 49 overall for the boys in red. That’s almost TWO John Bonhams worth of shots.
  • Knuble in the press box, his knights rioting in the streets. We love half of that.
  • Faceoff ace Jeff Halpern took just 5 faceoffs tonight. Brooks Laich, who at least seems passingly familiar with the rules of faceoffs, took 27.

Joe B suit of the night

This homestand is now just a somewhat mitigated disaster. The rest of the eastern conference continues to steadily increment standings points, and the Caps are barely moving.

It hasn’t been for lack of trying. Shot totals are climbing, and that’s meritorious considering how dismal their counts were a few weeks ago. But the odd-man rushes Dale Hunter said he was going to eliminate seem to be reproducing like bunnies who cannot get contraception coverage through their employers. And despite increasing his shooting, Alex Ovechkin hasn’t found twine– which speaks more to luck than anything else.

This is a bad time for bad luck. They really are playing better. When the Caps were truly miserable earlier this year, luck lifted them to those crucial wins. But this season is now old, its bones are creaky, and luck can’t make it bend like it used to.

Here’s Jay Beagle to play us out.

  • I think you give  Carlzner too much credit. They play defensive positions for a reason, it was their mistake, IMO.

  • That video is the only good thing about tonight.

  • Breed16

    ” They really are playing better. ”

    Offensively yes. Defensively, no way. How about instead of Wideman flailing at the puck at the blueline like a dingus, we put in Hamrlik and throw in a 1st round pick for good measure.

  • Thank you for the video.

  • Peter

    A fair point, but I’d say they’ve been bad all along, but great goaltending has been masking it.

    Neuvy had a bad night tonight, and now all the warts are showing.

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  • Anonymous

    “the odd-man rushes Dale Hunter said he was going to eliminate seem to be reproducing like bunnies who cannot get contraception coverage trough their employers.”

    {insert slut comment here}

    oh how you make me giggle – thank you!

    i love beags, orlov, and perreaultchoci
    nco so damn much. trying to take positives away from tonight: fighting back to force ot (and a point); shots; GOALS. keep crashing the faulkin net, guys!

  • Shoquan1

    Yeah, it’s not the end of the world yet. The NHL does not determine tams qualified for the playoffs until the end of march (4th week of march-1st week of April). We got a hell of a lot of time. Yeah some players need to wake up, but bandwagon fans are continuing to bash the team – it’s unbelieveable. Maybe Hunter is makin some strategies for the playoffs so we’ll be OK. 

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  • dirt

    How do you write a recap of this game and mention Dennis Wideman ONCE… in passing. He lost this game. If this awful coach is going to bench Knuble for “accountability”, he should bench Wideman until… whenever. 

    First he had a brainfart on a pinch when all four of his teammates were deep, and two opposing players were approaching him at full speed to give up a 2-on-0 (I thought Tom Poti was injured?) THEN, in overtime, he chases a puck into an offensive corner, slowly turns and coasts back leaving Mike Green (awesome Right Wing circa ’08) as the only man back to play D?
    Hunter stinks and this team is a bunch of sissies. Oh, and Joel Ward is worse at hockey than Jeff Schultz is. 

  • Peter

    Maybe. I don’t really know either way. I think they were where their assignments said they should be, whereas the forwards were not. And NOBODY put a body in front of anyone.

  • Peter

    Thank Kathryn from SHOE. I stole it from her!

  • Peter

    The guys you love would make an awesome AHL team.

  • Peter

    Good point about Wideman. I’m not very quick to blaming guys for stuff unless it’s obvious (like Ovi last game).

  • Dark Stranger

    While Neuvy didn’t have the best night, it seems that we lost more on defensive miscues than on goaltending.  But seems that Neuvy can’t seem to stop breakaways to save his life.   Could Pekke Rinne win with our team?  

  • Dark Stranger

    Although Orlov can certainly function at the NHL level, even though he makes rookie mistakes.  (Probably will play again for Hershey in the playoffs.)

  • Dark Stranger

    There were enough defensive miscues to go around tonight.  So if we benched any of our d-men for making mistakes, we wouldn’t have anyone left to dress there.

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  • Jim

    While these awesome videos cheer me up, I am concerned that even the vast internet may run out of offerings if the Caps don’t get their shit together soon.

  • Pattyo

     Beags and Perry were part of the greatest AHL team in history.