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.
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