The Washington Capitals lost all three games of its road trip this week and surrendered the first goal in every one of them. For the second time in a first period, they gave up three-or-more goals. On Sunday, they gave up four goals to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first stanza while on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues, they gave up three.
After their latest loss however, the Capitals tried to focus on the positives. They outplayed the Blues (who were playing in a back-to-back) in the second and third periods, deciding to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at goaltender Thomas Greiss. They out-shot the Blues 40-12 in the final 40 minutes of regulation and forced overtime after scoring four goals. They earned a standings point in the process.
Goal scorers Alex Ovechkin, Conor Sheary, and John Carlson spoke to the media after the game and tried to make sense of what happened. They all were concerned by the team’s poor start, but believe that if the team can patch together a full 60, things will turn around quickly. Currently, the team sits out of the playoffs with a 7-9-3 record.
“It’s obviously a tough start to go 3-0 after first, but you can see the boys didn’t give up, play hard the last two periods. Previous game against Florida, we start doing well and start pushing it and have a chance to bounce back and win the game. Same happened today. We play hard, get a point, and move on.
“We try our best to be in a battle, put the puck deep, and try to get the forecheck going. If we gonna play the same way the last two periods, we gonna get results right away.”
“The last few, our starts have not been good enough. Just giving up early goals and our penalty kills need to be a little better early on in games. If we’re not chasing games so much, maybe we’ll be able to play a full 60 and get to our game more often. I think it’s a good sign that we’re clawing back into games. We dominated the shot totals, we dominated the second half of the game. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way but our starts need to be better.
“We did pretty much everything better (in the second half of the game). We started skating. They were a team that played last night coming in. We started skating, getting pucks behind them like we always talk about and establish our forecheck. I think our zone time was really good in the second and third. We were really able to claw back in. It’s a good point but we’re obviously frustrated we’re not getting wins right now.”
“I think it’s another good effort. Right now, the way things are going, we’ve got to play a lot tighter than that. Sometimes these spells happen where things don’t go your way at certain times. Seems like, we deserve it sometimes and sometimes we don’t. Regardless of that, we need to play a better game to win. I think we deserved to win though.
“Obviously, [the starts] have been [a problem] the last a few games. That’s not something we don’t talk about and harp on and try to get better at. Yeah, here we are again, coming down 3 goals in the first period. It’s not a recipe for success.
“I think we played a little bit better than the last first period, but still, the way things are going, we have to play perfect the way we are going. Keep it mistake-free all around. Just wait and wait and wait. It doesn’t seem to be going our way no matter if we deserve it or not. We’ve got to play better and give ourselves a better chance. Obviously that’s the biggest thing that we can harp on and get better at is the first period. I think that’s just the way it’s going right now.
Like I said, not just the first period, it seems like there are patches in our game that’s not going great. Our special teams hasn’t been good on both sides in order to make up for some down spots in games. We’ve just to work our way out of it. We feel confident in ourselves and in our game. I think we definitely deserved a lot better fate tonight but we’ve got to carry that fire into the next game and play a little bit better and get us over that hump.”
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