Is the glass half empty or half full?
The NHL’s power play goal scoring leader (Alex Ovechkin 22) and the NHL’s second most efficient power play team (Washington 24.0%) scored power play goals on the first two opportunities 2:24 and 7:04 into the first period to give the Capitals a 2 to nothing lead over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. Unfortunately, once again, the Capitals could not hold a two goal lead. The Kings won on an Anze Kopitar shot in the shootout.
On the half-full side, the Capitals got a much needed point in the standings in a game in which they were outshot 28 to 18 even strength. The Capitals are in a four way tie with 80 points for the final two wild card spot in the East. However, the Capitals lose the tie-breaker (regulation plus overtime wins) to Columbus, Detroit and Toronto. Further, Columbus and Detroit have a game in hand.
“We got a huge point tonight [especially] after giving up a lead,” said Dustin Penner.
On the half-empty side, the players were frustrated with blowing a two goal lead. Maybe referring to Patrick Wey’s turnover with only 7 minutes to go in the third with a one-goal Capitals lead, Ovechkin cited “mistakes in our own zone” as a reason for the loss. Marcus Johansson echoed the sentiment when he said the Capitals need to “be more careful with the puck in certain places.”
On the half-full side, rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov continued to play well, scoring his first NHL goal. With 42 seconds left in regulation, the Capitals losing 4-3, and with John Carlson in the box for tripping, Kuznetsov put a rebound in the crease into the net to tie the game.
Also, the recently acquired Penner scored his first goal as a Capital. A Chris Brown shot was saved by Kings Defenseman Alec Martinez; however, Martinez’s save went directly to Penner, who put the Capitals up 3 to 1 late in the second period.
On the half-empty side, Nicklas Backstrom left the game with an “upper body” injury. Coach Adam Oates confirmed he was not being tested for a concussion. Also, in an odd but violent play, Jack Hillen collided into Ovechkin near center ice with two and one half minutes left in the third. Both players were down for a while; however, Ovechkin was able to return. Hillen was still being evaluated.
On the half-full side, in less than 13 minutes of ice time, Tom Wilson recorded a career-high nine hits. Wilson’s nine hits mark the most hits a Capitals player has registered in a game this season.
On the half-empty side, when asked the mood of the Capitals after the game, Karl Alzner said, “It is more of a pissed-off mood. Guys aren’t happy.”
On the half-full side, when asked whether fans should be anticipating playoffs, Johansson immediately responded, “Yes. Absolutely.”