Game 44 Review: A Replay of Game 42

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | , , , | 0 comments »

For the second time in a week, a Western Conference team that does not travel well came into the Verizon Center and reduced the Washington Capitals to lofting shots from the point and a series of 1-on-2s or even 1-on-3s, as the Edmonton Oilers won for the first team in D.C. (or Landover, MD, for that matter), since Jan. 26, 1997.

Eight of the Caps 14 losses this season have come against Western Conference teams and they're 1-3 against the Northwest Division.

The 5-2 final was not as embarrassing as the 3-0 shut out Columbus hung on the Caps last week, but just as demoralizing. Washington has dropped three in row and now travel to Pittsburgh to try to stop the bleeding.

Edmonton forward Eric Cole had a had trick (including an empty net) and goalie Dwayne Roloson made 34 saves in the effort. Defenseman Steve MacIntyre scored his first NHL goal, a shot from the top of the slot that Caps goalie Jose Theodore never saw.

For the Caps, defenseman Mike Green had a goal and assist, and Tomas Fleischmann had a highlight reel goal, but it was not enough. Not close.

The Caps were fairly manhandled by the Oilers, limiting the Caps to long, easily brushed aside shots, or individual odd-man attacks that, other than Fleischmann's daring-do, were quashed over and over again. Though Washington held a 36-23 advantage in shots, Edmonton actually had more quality chances and took advantage of those chances.

Over the last three games, the Caps have been outscored in regulation nine to three despite outshooting their opponents 115-80.

Coach Bruce Boudreau played with his lines most of the night, trying to find the right combination, to no avail. The Caps played disjointed and unorganized all evening long.

There was no further evidence of that than early in the third period when Alex Semin stepped out onto the ice and proceeded to trip over--and fall on top of--Green, who had been knocked to the ice a moment before.

The last three games have seen the Caps play deteriorate into a series of bad turnovers, lazy passes and overall malaise.

Perhaps a trip to the Igloo will be enough to wake them up tomorrow night.

WAS: Fleischmann (14) from Green and Nylander (2-7:40); Green (11) from Semin (3-16:51-PP)

EDM: MacIntyre (1) from Grebeshov and Brule (1-12:59); Cole (9) from Souray and Visnovsky (1-14:10-PP); Brule (2) from Brodziak (2-2:15); Cole (10) from Brodziak and Potulny (3-3:19); Cole (11) from Gilbert (3-19:02-EN)

1. D. Roloson - EDM (Saves: 34, Save Pct: .944)
2. E. Cole - EDM (Goals: 3, Assists: 0)
3. G. Brule - EDM (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)

Fleischmann's goal, his 14th of the season, is a career high.

Washington killed a four minute power play in the second period after Fleischmann took a high stick.

D John Erskine returned to the lineup after missing 22 games with a concussion.

Washington went 1-for-5 on the power play against the Oilers, ranked 28th in the league in penalty killing. The Caps are 4-for-26 in the past six games with the extra skater.