Game 48 Review: Bad Penalties Kill Caps, Lose to Sens 3-2

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, January 20, 2009 | , | 0 comments »

When Alexander Semin took a blatant and needless tripping penalty with 3:17 remaining in the third period, the omen was as obvious as the foul. And when Brendan Bell collected his own blocked shot and sent the puck past goalie Jose Theodore, the result was like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Ottawa Senators, 13th in the conference, scored three power play goals and defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2.

For the second time in as many nights, the Capitals (30-15-3-63) played without energy or urgency against one of the bottom-feeding teams in the Eastern Conference. Unlike yesterday's victory over the New York Islanders, however, the bad penalties finally caught up with the Caps, costing them two points in their quest to catch Boston for first place in the East.

Semin's penalty was not the only costly infraction. The Sens' first goal came with defenseman Mike Green off for roughing, as he punched Ottawa agitator Jarko Ruutu in the face in front of the head referee. Ruutu embellished the face-wash a bit and was smiling on the bench after the call, but Green's poor judgment was worse than any amount of acting Ruutu may be accused of.

The second goal came with Sergei Federov off for hooking. Dany Heatley scored both of Ottawa's first two goals.

Ottawa out shot Washington 18-5 in the final frame, and 34-31 for the game.

The Capitals charged back in the second period, getting goals from Federov, a big slap shot from the high slot, and David Steckel, who tipped in a loose puck in the crease against Senators' goalie Brian Elliot, making his sixth career start.

Washington thus ends its modest three-game winning streak and enters the all-star break with 63 points. The Caps hold a 12-point lead in the Southeast Division over Carolina, and trail the Boston Bruins by eight points for first seed in the Eastern Conference.

Washington is off until Tuesday, Jan. 27, when they travel to Boston to face the first-place Bruins.
08:11 Power Play - Dany Heatley (20), Slap Shot. Assist: Kuba, Vermette
15:54 Power Play - Dany Heatley (21), Tip-In. Assist: Vermette, Foligno

37.0 Sergei Fedorov (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Semin
09:58 Dave Steckel (6), Backhand Shot. Assist: Fleischmann, Clark

18:38 Power Play - Brendan Bell (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vermette
1. D. Heatley - OTT (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2. A. Vermette - OTT (Goals: 0, Assists: 3)
3. S. Fedorov - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
Veteran center Michael Nylander and winger Eric Fehr were healthy scratches...Theodore made 31 saves in his fifth straight start.