Mixed Reaction in DC as Capitals Fall in Shootout

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.”

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