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Kings 5, Caps 4

Alex Ovechkin didn't want to talk about his 200th goal after this game. The important thing was that the Capitals didn't play for the first two periods of the game, he said. That despite scoring the fastest goal to start a game this season they came out flat, a misstep that ended their three-game winning streak.

"They score a 5-on-3 goal (to tie the game at 1-1) and that didn't kill us," Ovechkin said. "But, I don't know; after the goal we just stopped playing. We didn't play our system, we didn't finish checks, we didn't shoot puck.
"Sometimes you have to lose a game like this," Ovechkin continued. "To realize, we've won (three) straight and we feel like we're gods or something like that."

As you can imagine, Coach Bruce Boudreau was nowhere near happy after this game. He called the first two periods "as bad as we've played all year" and was frustrated with the Capitals being too cute.

"The game plan was to get it deep and play it deep in their corners," Boudreau said. "And how many times did we lose the puck by trying to be too cute at the blue line. That part is unacceptable. We go over this stuff, but when you don't follow the game plan, you're not doing stuff that's good for the team."

*To perhaps give you an idea of how many turnovers there were, the Capitals had 19 giveaways while the Kings only had seven.

On to the rest of today's notes and quotes...

*Brooks Laich has a calf contusion after blocking a shot during a penalty kill in the middle of the second period. After initially going off the ice, Laich came back rather quickly though and did finish the game. It's unclear at this point how much it will affect him.

*The Caps have now given up a shorthanded goal in each of the past two games. They weren't able to get set up in Los Angeles' zone and often failed to maintain possession at all. For an example: During a power play late in the first period, Jaret Stoll had been called for goaltender interference, 57 seconds elapsed before the Caps were able to get the puck in the Kings zone.

"Not smart hockey," Mike Green said. "Every team is coming at us because they know we've given up a few. We just gotta be aware."

Boudreau wasn't quite as diplomatic.

"Not good," he said. "I told you it was sloppy. I don't say that to be mean to our team, mean to the guys. It's what I know. I live with these guys every day. You saw some of the power plays out there, they were not sharp. It's something we have to work on. I don't say it for the good of my health."

*With his 200th goal, Ovechkin joined elite company. He is the fifth player in the NHL's modern era (since 1943-44) to score 200 goals in fewer than 300 career games. Ovechkin accomplished the feat in 296 games, behind Wayne Gretzky (242), Mike Bossy (255), Mario Lemieux (277) and Brett Hull (280).

*Ovechkin is currently fourth among the players who scored the most goals in their first four years in the NHL. In front of him are Gretzky (269), Bossy (241) and Lemieux (215).

*Alexander Semin's goal 15 seconds into the first period was the fastest goal in a game this season. It was also his 20th tally on the year, marking the third straight season he's reached the plateau. He now has 45 points in 35 games, passing his season total from last year (42).

*Mike Green added his 17th goal of the season, 13th on the power play. He has set a franchise record for the longest goal streak by a defenseman at five games, which ties his longest personal point-streak.

*The Caps had a total of nine penalties, not quite their season record of 12 that came in this year's opener against Atlanta, but not far off either.

*Washington has suffered nine of its 16 regulation losses to Western Conference opponents, which they are 7-9-0 against.

*The Caps have now allowed a power play goal in 13 straight games, a franchise record. The Kings' second goal, also Anze Kopitar's second of the game, set a season record for the fastest goal allowed in a period -- just 13 seconds into the second period.

*I'll leave you with one last quote from Matt Bradley, on how the Kings -- a team that averaged 2.5 goals per game heading into tonight -- were able to capitalize on so many of Washington's mistakes.

"Bruce said they were great at blocking shots," Bradley said. "He told us we can't make cross-ice passes and a couple of times we got caught. I think they had five breakaways in the first period. That's not our hockey, that's not the way we play."

*Tarik will have more to come on the news of Brent Johnson's surgery and how it will effect the Caps goaltending situation, so stay tuned.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 5, 2009; 11:12 PM ET
 
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Comments

Personally, I thought it was a great game.

Oh, wait, the Caps? What a sloppy game. Lots of muck up the middle. Not their best effort by any stretch.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

From the Cheap Seats, pretty much sums it up:

"There was a 10-15 minute stretch in tonight’s game in which the Caps looked absolutely dominant. Passes were crisp and quick, shots were on net, forechecking was in full gear - everything looked great. This was a winning team.

Too bad an entire game happened before that."

Posted by: Section117 | February 5, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and another awesome crowd. Booing during a 1-1 game in the 1st? Real classy.

Posted by: Section117 | February 5, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Katie Carrera this seems to be your blog, it should have your picture and your name in the by-line.

Posted by: opita1 | February 5, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

How long before Alzner is called up? Our defense sucks, especially Schultz.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | February 5, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you VegasCapsFan.... but Schultz isn't the only one to blame. Yeah Green is spectacular offensively, but he was on the ice for at least three of those breakaways. Our Defense as a whole is laregely average. Thought Theo looked great, other than that, I would give the performance a D-

Posted by: thenice8 | February 5, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

117:
I know - could you believe that?!? I will never understand people who boo their own team. I blame the booers for the loss ... ;-)

ludeman95:
I think that game time is TBD because they don't know whether it will be nationally televised. Also, I liked your and your wife's comments about Laich - HA!! :-D Although tonight he was a warrior.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 5, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Boo

I think they're on-line here, too.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 5, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I thought the booing when the Caps had a power play called in their favor was a hight point of Caps Fan idiocy. We would never do that in L.A.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 5, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

to the alzner comment:

YES PLEASE BRING HIM BACK TOM POTI AND MIKE GREEN CAN'T DO IT ALONE!!!!

Posted by: jess4caps | February 5, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Greg:
LOL!! Yes, I think you are right. While that was most disappointing and not their best game, it is not the end of the world. This too shall pass and Sat is another day ... BRING IT ON!!

oldtimehockey:
Are you the LA fan who said he would be there tonight?

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 5, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

"I thought the booing when the Caps had a power play called in their favor was a hight point of Caps Fan idiocy."

Not only that, but, most likely, those are the same people that call fans from other teams idiots.

Posted by: opita1 | February 5, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not in a rush to bring Alzner back up even though he could play here with no problems. This was ONE game. No one played particularly well. Sloppy passes, stupid penalties, way too many give-aways and odd man rushes.

That's not just bad D.

There was no forechecking. They couldn't get the puck deep into the zone.

That's not bad D.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 6, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm ok with a little booing...

The caps gave up something like three shots on goal when THEY were on power play just before the end of the period.

I'm not a booer per say, but I think that was a boo worthy effort. Oh and did you notice we did get scored on short handed later in the game. I thin it's ok to voice some disapproval now and then.

Nothing to the point of madness, I still love the team, but they needed to wake up. I hope coach gave them worse than the crowd did during the intermissions.

'Cute' - is not completely accurate, there was some down right ugly play tonight. The caps aren't good enough yet to overcome the mental errors with pure athletic ability...

Posted by: gconrads | February 6, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

i agree w/BB - that was the worst the Caps have played this season.

the only bright spot was JT60 (and the last 10 mins of the thrid). it could've been 4 or 5 to 1 after the first, if not for the goalie's play.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 6, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

if you'd have told me at the start of the season that the Caps would lose there 4th home game of the season on February 5, i'd have taken it.

we are lucky to have a team that is so good...

...it can play like crap for 50 minutes and still make the game interesting.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 6, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I'm agreeing with everyone that wants Alzner to be called up! Schultz is terrible!! I know it's hard to defend a 5 on 3, but as a defensemen you DON'T stand in front of your own goalie to screen him. TERRIBLE!!!!

Posted by: Thomas32 | February 6, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

I know that the defense sucked tonight but..... That had to be the worst game I think I can remember for Green.

Posted by: CapsFan21 | February 6, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

...and if you'd told me that our 4 home losses on February 5th were to Florida, Columbus, Edmonton, and L.A., i'd have thought you were even more nuts.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 6, 2009 2:52 AM | Report abuse

When is someone in an authority capacity going to call out Green for "non-chalance"? His skill and ability to put the puck in the net is not in question, but game after game his passes are slow, off-target, or lazy.
How many times will he try a behind-the-back or slow chip pass off the boards (right into the skate of the defenseman in front of him) before he realizes it does not work 8 out of 10 times at this level.
I know he is cut alot of slack as he is primarily a O D-man, but his "waltzing" with the puck (as Joe B. correctly pointed out on VS last week) is becoming the norm instead of the occasional.
Call out EVERYONE and stop the Norris talk for Green until he stops being too cute and plays a complete game!

Posted by: Shipdriver | February 6, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a bad game for the Caps! The military deserved better than that!

Posted by: NatyBG | February 6, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

the booing on the penalty was becuase thebfans thatought they were each getting 2 minutes. they were booing the refs. but then LA got 4 minutes

i didn't hear other booing but maybe I tuned it out....

Posted by: CapsRockTheRed | February 6, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

At least people booing were making noise. Not only weren't the Caps good last night, the crowd sucked too. Many times I tried to get chants going when the game and crowd were mired in a funk and no one f**** responds until Goat or Horn Guy decide to do something. I sit in Horn Guy's section and even he was disinterested for most of the game.

LET'S GO CAPS FANS!!!!!

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 6, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S

Were we watching the same game?


The D was horrid last night, Schultz screening his own goalie? Two Kings players in the crease most of the night without getting cleaned out? Schultz not able to walk the blue and keep the freaking puck in the offensive zone both on the PP and 5 on 5? and it wasn't just him either, Juice was bad, Mo was bad, Green even though he scored was pretty bad defensively, they really need to ratchet this up because we wont get very far in the playoffs without solid defensive effort every night.

I don't understand how we have won as many games as we have when we constantly allow the opposing team to camp out in our crease. It really bugs the heck out of me and I hope the caps try to correct it.

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 6, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

a couple of other things...

1) Why is it Poti is the only one who can clear a freaking puck? I wonder if it frustrates the hell out of him that no one else can seem to accomplish this task.

2) I hope management starts to light a fire under some of these guys, If you cant do your job you get traded benched or moved down.

3) Am I the only won who has noticed that we played our best Hockey of the season with our Hershey defensive corps? Maybe its time to give these guys another shot at the big time?

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 6, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Thats one not WON :-P

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | February 6, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Shipdriver,
You're spot on with your criticism of Mike Green. I too am sick and tired of his nonchalant handling of the puck. As far as his lack of attention to his defensive responsibilities are concerned, I place the blame for that squarely on Boudreau's shoulders. Here's a guy with one full season of NHL experience being told by his coach that he expects him to score 25 goals this season. BAD MESSAGE!
Each season Green appears to be less and less interested in playing defense. He allows himself to be rubbed out ROUTINELY along the boards. Generally, he shows about the same amount of enthusiasm in the trenches as the most pitiful defensemen of all, Jeff Schultz. Dizzy1205 is correct. The Caps played their best defence this year when Helmer and Sloan were up. Playing defense is all about commitment. It's all about desire. With the exception of Erskine, and occasionally Juice, "Commitment and desire" are almost nonexistent with our defensive corp.

Posted by: Puckguru | February 6, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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