Photo credit: Eliot J. Schechter
The Washington Capitals schlepped down to that bustling metropolis of Sunrise to face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. It was classic Caps hockey: dumb penalties, tons of goals, a nominal interest in defense.
Mike Ribeiro found the puck on the weak side to score an early power play goal, but then Tomas Fleischmann banked a shot off John Erskine’s skates to even it up. Shawn Matthias knocked in a go-ahead goal for the Cats from high in the slot. Karl Alzner scored a nasty slapper off the faceoff to knot the score at 2. Let me repeat that: Karl Alzner scored a goal.
Peter Mueller Huberdeau bounced a flubbery puck past Braden Holtby, but then Matt Hendricks got a rebound of his own. Jonathan Huberdeau exploited some bad defense to make it 4-3 Florida. Holtby bobbled a loose puck to give Drew Shore his first NHL goal — after a review from Toronto. Eric Fehr finally made it onto the scoresheet with a tip-in just five minutes before the end of regulation. Alex Ovechkin ripped a tying goal off the faceoff during a late-game power play.
And then Troy Brouwer won it in OT on a breakaway. Cause that’s how this team gets down.
Caps beat Panthers 6-5 (OT).
The state of the Caps is a lot like the State of the Union. There’s a lot of good stuff going on, but some jackholes still can’t get their acts together long enough to really achieve anything significant. Don’t get me wrong: huge win, but there’s still work to do.
The Capitals are atrocious at defense: particularly clearing traffic and breaking out, but also unforced penalties like a holding call when John Erskine can’t keep up with the rush or Holtby’s nine-iron delay of game.
But the offense is alive and crackalacking. Both Mike Ribeiro and Alex Ovechkin are on scoring streaks. Troy Brouwer is a star. The Caps have real offense for the first time in a very long time; they’re just waiting for the other half of the team to come to life.
They’ll have their chance on Thursday night against the struggling Lightning in Tampa Bay. Unless that city falls into the sea before then. I’m fine either way.
Someone forgot to “leave the gate open” in Sunrise… twitter.com/recordsANDradi…
— Danny (@recordsANDradio) February 13, 2013
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