All Penalties, No Possession: Devils beat Caps 3-2

Patrick McDermott

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

I had a recap for tonight, but then the third period happened; my story was rendered irrelevant. In the span of 11 minutes, the Washington Caps took six penalties and allowed two goals to blow 2-1 lead to the New Jersey Devils. It was awful and frankly surreal. This wasn’t the ref’s fault, it was entirely the Capitals’. You cannot take that many penalties and survive. The Caps did not survive.

The first period didn’t go too well at Verizon Center. In between press box Internet outages that even Cory Booker could not fix, the Devils controlled play throughout the period, save for a Caps power play late in the frame. Thankfully for the Caps, the Devs couldn’t convert on their 13-4 shot advantage through 20 minutes.

The game finally got interesting in the second. Really interesting. After Alex Ovechkin drew a tripping penalty on Anton Volchenkov, Troy Brouwer puts the moves on entering the offensive zone, Mathieu Perreault popped in the rebound to open the scoring. Barely a minute later, the Caps went to the PP again. This time it didn’t go so well — at least at first. As John Carlson was waiting to make the breakout pass behind Braden Holtby, he made a brutal turnover — the epitome of word “giveaway.” Adam Henrique picked up the puck and passed it to Patrik Elias in front of the net. Tie game. Mike Ribeiro, who is awesome, had other ideas though. At the tail end of the man-advantage, Ribz fired squigglier past Marty Brodeur to put the Caps back on top. The action in the second didn’t end there. Washington almost added another tally, but Ovechkin breakaway was foiled by bad ice late in the frame.

And the third period? Unspeakable awfulness. Six penalties, nearly all killed until Ilya Kovalchuk sealed the deal with about eight minutes left in the game.

Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

None of that is to say penalties alone told the story. The Capitals held a lead for a good while despite being dramatically outshot (30 to 12 at even strength). If not for Braden Holtby, this would’ve been a debacle. Thanks to him, it’s just an embarrassing fiasco.

These two teams play again in less than 36 hours. I think it’s fair to say they shouldn’t repeat what transpired tonight. Since I clearly bring bad luck, Peter will be back with you Saturday.

  • Sam

    You can hold the caps accountable all you want, but the third period would have been entirely different without some bad calls. OV got two minutes for checking a hockey player, and apparently putting the puck into the bench is now a penalty also. That was disgusting.

  • sean

    Lack of comments is telling me that we are drowning our sorrows in whatever hard liquor is available.

  • GuestZ

    So how many giveaways does Wolski have to have in a first period before he gets pulled?

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Come on guys…remember what George said “with Backstrom, we can beat anybody in the conference.”

    I guess this year he is waiting to use the same line on Jack Hillen or Brooks Laich.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    It really must have sucked to be Dale Hunter and now Adam Oates when coaching this team. I get Hunter left to be closer to home, but I sure wouldn’t have blamed him if deep down it was because of how frustrated it must be to coach this team.

    I’d be pretty upset too if my only defensemen were guys such as Hamrlik, Poti, Schultz, and a frequently injured Green on our roster. Not to mention we only have 1 top line scoring winger in Ovie who hasn’t hit over 40 goals since 2010. Beyond Ovie, Backstrom, and Ribeiro, it’s a bunch of 3rd and 4th line players. I’m not saying those guys are bad, but it says a lot about how poorly constructed the team is when you are playing guys like Chimmy, Brouwer, or Ward on the top 2 lines throughout the season, guys who were solid 3rd liners on their former teams.

  • Not to mention the interference call for a hip-check. The Delay of Game really pissed me off. And I totally agree about Wolski. I also would like Kundratek to stop pretending to be Mike Green and play his position instead of having Ovie and other forwards cover for his unproductive pushes forward.

  • 5bells

    sorry to be that guy, but *barely (not barley)