Game 64 Review: Caps Mail One In On Sunday

Posted by Dave Nichols | Sunday, March 01, 2009 | , , , , | 0 comments »

Today's post-game report is brought to you by the United States Postal Service. Because if the Caps can mail it in, so can I.

The defense: atrocious. Jose Theodore: not much better. The energy: non-existent. The penalties: way too many, once again.

The Washington Capitals (40-19-5-85, first in Southeast) were outhustled and outplayed by the Florida Panthers (32-23-8-72, second in Southeast) Sunday afternoon 6-2, before another sellout crowd that expected to see the Capitals team that beat Boston and Pittsburgh in the last week and a half, but instead saw the return of the Caps team that was embarrassed by Colorado and Philadelphia.

The Caps scored 1:26 into the game, as Alexander Semin got a puck through Florida goalie Craig Anderson. But that would be it for the cheering from the Caps faithful, as Washington gave up three straight power play goals to a team that had not scored a power play marker in five games, and a total of four in the first period.

Coach Bruce Boudreau lifted starting goalie Jose Theodore after surrendering four goals in 17 shots in the first, but Florida scored another goal in the second and third periods against rookie Michal Neuvirth to take a 6-1 lead. Anderson got sloppy with an Alex Ovechkin snap shot that bounced out of his glove and into the net with 22 seconds remaining in the game, but it was little consolation.

The play extended Niklas Backstrom's consecutive scoring streak to a career-high 10 games.

As usual, Boudreau was brutally honest in the post-game report. "We got beat to every loose puck. It seemed like they had the puck in the power play for the whole two minutes in our zone every time," Boudreau said. "I can't sugarcoat it and I can't find excuses for it. We weren't very good."

The Caps are now 4-4 in their last eight games at home, and three of their last four home games have been demoralizing losses to last-place Colorado, the third period meltdown against Philly, and today's embarrassment.

The Caps host Carolina Tuesday night at 7:00 pm. We shall see which Caps team shows up for that one.

01:26 Power Play - Alexander Semin (25), Slap Shot. Assist: Laich
03:53 Power Play - Stephen Weiss (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: McCabe, Frolik
06:59 Power Play - Bryan McCabe (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bouwmeester
14:19 Power Play - Jay Bouwmeester (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Weiss, McCabe
16:16 Richard Zednik (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Ballard, McLean

10:24 Jassen Cullimore (2), Slap Shot. Assist: McLean, Weiss

07:20 Michael Frolik (15), Slap Shot. Assist: McCabe, Ballard
19:38 Alex Ovechkin (46), Snap Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Jurcina

1. J. Bouwmeester - FLA (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)
2. B. McCabe - FLA (Goals: 1, Assists: 3)
3. S. Weiss - FLA (Goals: 1, Assists: 2)

Viktor Kozlov was scratched with the lingering groin injury. Jay Beagle was recalled from AHL Hershey to replace Kozlov. Michael Nylander and Staffan Kronwall were healthy scratches.