Game 21 Review: Insult to Injury: Caps Lose to Wild 4-3

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | , , , , | 1 comments »

Despite a furious late third period comeback attempt, the Washington Capitals (11-7-3, first in Southeast Division) lost their third straight game road game to the Minnesota Wild, 4-3, at the Xcel Energy Center. The loss drops the Caps 1-3-1 on their extended road trip, and the injuries keep piling up.

The most devastating of the new injuries came to D Jeff Schultz, who broke a finger in the first period blocking a shot. The team has already stated he will miss at least a couple weeks for the digit to heal. The injury leaves an already depleted defense squad further reduced, leaving the team no choice in calling up a player for tomorrow's game against Atlanta. There is already mounting speculation that player will be Sami Lepisto.

In addition, F Boyd Gordon left the game with back spasms and D John Erskine left with an undisclosed injury. Along with D Mike Green, F Sergei Federov and F Alexander Semin, these players will be listed as day-to-day, though the latter three have missed several games already.

As for the game itself, the Caps played like the tired and wounded team that they are, completing a four-game, seven-day stretch across the west coast of the country. Minnesota built a 4-0 lead midway through the third period, on two goals from rookie Cal Clutterbuck, the first tow of his career. Marek Zidlicky and James Sheppard added the third and fourth goals, with Sheppard's proving to be the eventual game winner. It was his first goal in 48 games.

Zidlicky's goal came on a 5-on-3 power place as a result of two consecutive closing-hand-on-the-puck penalties called 26 seconds apart on the Capitals' Tom Poti and Alex Ovechkin.

Washington's comeback started at 14:43 of the third when Matt Bradley slid a backhanded shot, his third of the season, past Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom. Alex Ovechkin notched his ninth a minute and a half later as he used his patented delay shot, using a Minnesota defender to screen the normally reliable Backstrom. At 18:16, the Caps' Niklas Backstrom scored against his namesake on a power play, cutting the lead to just one. However, the Caps had dug themselves too deep a hole and could never realize the equalizer.

Backstrom's goal gives him 16 points in his last nine games.

The Caps return home to face the Atlanta Thrashers Wednesday night at 7:00 pm ET from the Verizon Center.

Video courtesy of Caps365 at

1. C. Clutterbuck - MIN (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2. M. Zidlicky - MIN (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
3. M. Koivu - MIN (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)
NOTES: Minnesota is 5-0 against the Caps at home in their history.

Washington gave up 26 goals on its five-game road trip. They play just one game the rest of the season (at Nashville) outside the Eastern time zone.

Ovechkin's goal was his first career marker against Minnesota. The only teams remaining he has not scored against are Los Angeles and San Jose.


  1. william // November 25, 2008 at 11:16 PM  

    Kolzig received a warm reception from the fans during the player introductions, the National Anthem, and in a video tribute in the first television timeout. But his former teammates treated him rudely, scoring on their first two shots of the game, though neither could really be attributed to the veteran goalie.