Peters in the First - Justin Peters was nothing short of excellent in the first period. He had several fantastic stops, most notably on a John Carlson giveaway, where Peters found himself sprawling across the ice to make the save. By the end of the period, Peters had seen 14 shots come flying his way, and he was able to block every one of them. Without his efforts, and the complete lack of effort from the Caps in the first, this game could have been out of hand very quickly.
Ovechkin's Two Way Play - We are slowly, but surely, seeing a new form of Alexander Ovechkin blooming before our very eyes. He has completely begun to transform his game. We are seeing a more defensively responsible Ovechkin. In yesterday's game, we saw it when he laid down and blocked the shot. Today, we saw him dive across the ice to poke check a crucial puck away, and he crashed into the boards. There is cause for concern that Ovechkin only has seven shots in his last four games. But there is absolutely no reason to believe that he simply will just stop scoring again. Although, Ovechkin is taking the right path towards success. You know who also cut back offensively late into his career and focused on becoming a more two-way forward? Steve Yzerman. And he won three Cups.
Everyone Besides Peters in the First Period - Such a sloppy period. Carlson turned it over in his own zone, Evgeny Kuznetsov turned it over in his own zone. Virtually every blue liner failed to clear the puck out of their zone when they should have. No Capital seriously challenged Miller with any sort of scoring chance. It was just bad to watch. This team really needs to just learn to really pour it on in the first period. And they have done that a couple times this season. This may have just been a case of being in the tail end of a back to back game after a lot of traveling. I expect to see a different start to the game on Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
Peters In The Second - The first goal he let in on the power play was truly unfortunate. The puck took a few unlucky bounces and landed on Henrik Sedin's stick. Peters tried to slide over, and he actually got a good chunk of the puck, but it just wasn't enough. The problem I had was the fact that he just deflated, giving up two relatively soft goals just a little over a minute later. That just can't happen. It's one thing to let up one goal, maybe another that quickly. But three just completely kills the momentum, and that clearly happened tonight. Now, I'm not blaming all of the goals solely on Peters, in fact, I almost never blame any single goal solely on a goaltender, but he just had to have a couple of those tonight.
John Carlson - I just was not happy with his play tonight. I feel like this is the third season in a row that Carlson has just had a slow start to his season. It just seems like he needs to play a good chunk of games to really get back at his playing level. We all know he has the skill set to be this teams top defenseman, but playing as poorly as he did today just won't cut it. I've already mentioned that turnover like a bajillion times, but it wasn't just that. He was out of position, had trouble clearing it, and then the dagger of a delay of game penalty at the end. Just not his night.
Possession (Via hockeystats.ca)
Top Five Corsi-Close Percentage at Even Strength
- Joel Ward - 77% (67% offensive zone start)
- Liam O'Brien - 77% (83% offensive zone start)
- Michael Latta - 67% (60% offensive zone start)
- Nate Schmidt - 61% (67% offensive zone start)
- Nicklas Backstrom - 58% (64% offensive zone start)
- Jay Beagle - 27% (33% offensive zone start)
- Jason Chimera - 31% (50% offensive zone start)
- Matt Niskanen - 37% (82% offensive zone start)
- Karl Alzner - 41% (62% offensive zone start)
- Andre Burakovsky - 42% (75% offensive zone start)
Goal - Marcus Johansson (3)
- Assists - Andre Burakovsky (5), Mike Green (4)
Goal - Liam O'Brien (1)
- Assists - Mike Green (5)
Justin Peters - 30 saves on 33 shots, .909 save perc,entage
Quote of the Night
"We haven't given up, I don't think, more than 28 shots this year. And they had 34 today. So to me that's an indication that we weren't managing the puck. We talked about it, but we weren't sharp. That was our first test at back to back. I don't want to take anything away from Vancouver. They played a pretty solid game in a lot of areas. They forced us to have to play a certain way, and we didn't want to do it, and we turned pucks over. You know, we're worried about our Corsi scores, I guess. But it doesn't work sometimes. We sometimes got to get it to the next level." - Barry Trotz