THE RESULTS: The Washington Capitals took too many penalties, went 0-for-5 on the power play, and was indifferent on defense too many times, as they fell behind early, rallied furiously, but fell in overtime to the Florida Panthers 4-3 before a sparse crowd in Sunrise, FL.
"If we're going to look this lethargic on the power play, that's where we are losing games," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's not 5-on-5, it's not the penalty killing, it's the power play. I keep putting the same guys out thinking eventually it's going to turn around, but it's not. We're going to have to do something to shake the power play up."
The overtime goal was a microcosm for the entire game. A lazy clearing attempt by Matt Hendricks led to Mike Green taking a penalty, then the Caps surrendering their third power play goal of the night to a team that entered play as the worst power play unit in the league.
The Capitals surrendered a five-on-three goal in both of the first two periods.
A bright spot for the Caps was the play of rookie center Marcus Johansson, who had two goals - and almost a third -- in what might have been his best game of the season.
The Caps were atrocious in the first period, being outshot 20-7 and dominated in just about every facet of the game and were down 2-0 after the frame. They allowed a third goal 6:48 into the second, and looked every bit defeated.
But just like that the Caps turned it on and took over play, reeling off three straight goals to force overtime and take a point they had no really had no business earning after 30 minutes of play.
THE GOOD: Coming back from three goals showed a lot of heart and effort on the road. Salvaging a point in a game they could have easily stopped skating is a big deal as we enter the second half of the season.
THE BAD: Six minor penalties. Two five-on-threes. Folks can complain all they want, but I didn't see a call I would have strenuously argued with.
THE UGLY: The freaking power play. How can a team with this much offensive firepower be so, what's the right word? Pathetic? Is that too strong?
THE STATS: Marcus Johansson (4) from Brooks Laich (17) and Brian Willsie (1) at 10:10 of 2nd. Mike Knuble (10) from Alex Ovechkin (30) and Nick Backstrom (28) at 13:30 of 2nd. Marcus Johansson (5) from Matt Hendricks (8) and Mike Green (13) at 7:12 of 3rd.
NEXT GAME: Wednesday in a battle for first place against Tampa Bay at 7:00 pm.
CAPS NEWS NETWORK THREE STARS:
3. Brian Willsie. Picked up an assist in his first game since 2005. Good for him.
2. Michael Neuvirth. Three goals allowed, yes. But it could have been much, much worse.
1. Marcus Johansson. Two goals. A nice little breakout game.