Photo credit: Alan Diaz
The Washington Capitals have three dates with the Florida Panthers in February, and these games will determine their chances for a postseason. This one was a so-called “four-point game”, and the Capitals came up tragically short.
After a scoreless first period, Mikael Samuelsson faked a hardaround and then fired a shot to Neuvirth’s far side– hitting the post then net. It was a fluke-y, no-look shot from almost 90 feet out, but it caught Neuvirth being lazy, and that’s what matters. Brooks Laich tied it up with a feisty top-shelfer from the crease during 4-on-4 play. Samuelsson got his second of the night with the go-ahead goal on a third period power play. After a long adjudication, Stephen Weiss was awarded a goal that had been washed out at first.
John Carlson made it a one-goal game with a leisurely slapper from the high slot, but Shawn Matthias grabbed an empty netter a few moments later. Panthers beat Caps 4-2.
The Capitals are no longer in the conference’s top 8; they have dropped from 3rd to 9th. If they don’t change– significantly and soon– they will not regain that spot.
But here comes Ovi, who just served the third of his three-game suspension. And each new morning brings us a little closer to the Comebackstrom and what will be Mike Green’s Third Comeback of the season.
We’re not cynical, but we’re not quixotic. We want more from our team and their coach and their management. Every player on the roster has been a disappointment at some point, but there are 32 more opportunities for redemption.
Montreal on Saturday. It’s Hockey Early Afternoon in Canada and Ovechkin’s comeback, so, ya know. Prepare.
Crash the net.
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