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Rangers 4, Caps 3

After tonight's disheartening 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers, the Capitals have scored 18 goals and allowed 15. As I'm typing this, the first number leads the league while the second is also tops.

Coach Bruce Boudreau has seen this before, and perhaps it's the reason he was so short-tempered in the postgame press conference.

"Any time you have the lead [late] in the game, you have to if you're going to be a good team," he said. "We've blow two leads like that and almost a third in four games. It's a really upsetting trend that better stop in a hurry."

Boudreau had plenty to be upset about. There was Jose Theodore's third period meltdown. There was the sloppy defense in front of his goalie. The lackluster play of the third and fourth lines. And a power play that was anything but.

It all added up to another letdown in a game the Capitals could have and should have won, especially after Henrik Lundqvist gift-wrapped Nicklas Backstrom's first goal.

On to the notes and (but mostly) quotes:

*Boudreau on Marian Gaborik's third-period goals: "Both of them were top of the circles. Those are the ones in the third period you've got to stop. You have to stop them. [Theodore] kept us in the game for most of the game, but those ones -- goals three and four -- that you've got to stop."

Before the game, Boudreau joked that he might need until Game 65 to settle on a No. 1 goalie. At this rate, that might be optimistic.

*Boudreau on the power play, which went 1 for 9, despite enjoying 1:33 with a two-man advantage: "If you're going to play like individuals, you're going to get individual results and nothing is going to happen. You go out there and do what we do and we're successful and play as a team, you're going to get success. It's a team game."

*Boudreau on the third and fourth lines: "If you're not going to score, you had better not be on for any goals against."

As you may have guessed, that was not the case. Both lines were on for goals.

While the Caps are putting up a ton of goals, the secondary scoring needs to kick in, especially if they're going to need to outscore opponents every night. All of the goals have come from Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Brendan Morrison and Mike Knuble. That's it. No grinders. No defensemen.

*Backstrom is now leading the league in points with 10 after his two-goal performance. He said he was not trying to score on the long shot that beat Lundqvist; he was simply dumping it in.

*Boudreau on the defense: "We don't talk about offense. We talk about defense, play away from the puck. The guys who are making mistakes are not first-year guys, they are guys who have been in the league for 10 years, five years, six years. They know what their jobs are. There's not one first-year guy on the defense. The youngest is Jeff Schultz. This is his fourth year, third year in the NHL. These guys should know what the hell they're doing. Right now, we're not playing well enough."

*The Rangers blocked 22 shots; the Caps blocked eight.

*The Caps have come out on top in the faceoff circle in each of their first four games. Tonight, they won 59 percent, led by Boyd Gordon, who won four of five but was in the penalty box when Gaborik scored the winner.

*Eric Fehr skated in the pregame warmup and was listed in the official lineup as a healthy scratch, which means he has been activated from injured reserve. I'm told it's possible that he'll be sent to Hershey for a conditioning stint this weekend.

That's it for now. I'll check in from KCI in the morning. Practice is at 11.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 8, 2009; 11:59 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning Roundup: Caps Waste Late Lead

Comments

Horrible game all around.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 9, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

everything is so depressing, our D our 3rd/4th line lack of production, and our goalies (both of them) not to mention our PP being so good for the first 2 games and then this 2 5on3's and a bust. and ovie didn't even get a point (normally the one thing that can make me stomach a loss) *sigh*

PLAY NYLANDER!!!!!!!!!!! send down varly, give nuevy a try, it can't be any worse then it is now

Posted by: capsfan387 | October 9, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau on the third and fourth lines: "If you're not going to score, you had better not be on for any goals against."

IMO that's not the right attitude. Mike Keenan would have benched OV after his giveaway turned into the first goal for the Rangers. EVERYONE must be accountable on defense.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Who did Boudreau blow up at in the post-game presser? I saw the reaction, but couldn't pick up the voice.

Posted by: Section117 | October 9, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

everything is so depressing, our D our 3rd/4th line lack of production, and our goalies (both of them) not to mention our PP being so good for the first 2 games and then this 2 5on3's and a bust. and ovie didn't even get a point (normally the one thing that can make me stomach a loss) *sigh*

PLAY NYLANDER!!!!!!!!!!! send down varly, give nuevy a try, it can't be any worse then it is now

Posted by: capsfan387 | October 9, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Sarcasm I hope?

Posted by: HappyWeagle | October 9, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Caps have 78 more games to figure out who is their #1 goal.

Who next for the try-out?

Nuevy you are up next!

Caps have given up 4, 6, and 4 goals in last 3 games.

Nuevy....Just don't give up more than 3 goals! And you'll be leading the race....

Posted by: 555Mass | October 9, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought Ovie was terrible tonight. One of the worst games I've seen him play at VC. He has to stop the giveaways.

I'm pretty impressed so far with B. Morrison and Knuble. Esp. Morrison. I wouldn't mind seeing Neuvirth up. I don't think anyone believes this team will go to the conference finals or Cup finals with Theo in net. Why not try someone else?

The third and fourth lines were terrible. Gordon's penalty was a killer. I like Gordo, but when you're Boyd Gordon, you don't take those kinds of penalties if you want to play in the NHL. He took a bad one the other night, too.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | October 9, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Didn't get to watch the game, but got the news so I'm still bummed. From what everyone is saying about Gordo, sounds like he and Brads will have to double up on the cup tapping. Maybe this poor play by the defense will light a fire under someone, whether it be a player that steps up or GMGM to pull the trigger on a trade.

Posted by: superpaqman | October 9, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

So, who will start in goal on Saturday against Detroit? Neuwirth's injured at the moment so I doubt he'll be an option. (I know he'll be back soon.)

Maybe they'll bring up Jason B (whose name sounds like Chihuahua) or Braden Holtby.

Or send in Stretch???

Okay, I'm semi-kidding.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Caps WILL make playoffs this year. They will likely win division, in spite of tonight's debacle.

The return of Flash and Fehr should help 3rd line.

We can leave the 1st and 2nd lines (even strength) alone for now. Okay, the KLM didn't score today but they've been fine most of the year.

We may need to tweak the PP to some degree. It's been a bust. (We seem to take penalties at the worst times. We squandered 2 PP's with penalties.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Could someone please call out OV for his less than steller play at the blueline on powrplays. Many lost pucks. One leading to a goal. Is the pont really the best place for him to play on the PP. Could a real defenseman play there?

Posted by: fehrrocks | October 9, 2009 4:09 AM | Report abuse

*shrugs* 2-1-1 is an ok start especially considering the schedule we are facing.

Boston Philly and NY followed immediately by
Devils Redwings and Sharks.

Brutal.

Things will shape up.

Posted by: trunkenmath | October 9, 2009 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Question for you Schultz bashers that are also saying Theo gave up two softies. The only goals against Schultz was on the ice for are goals 3 and 4, the same one that are considered Theo's softies. Which is it, softies by Theo, or defense. It isn't both. IMO, I was sitting behind Theo, two in a row between the wickets, sorry they were weak. From the distance the shots were taken the defense gave Theo a clear look, they should have been stopped.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh man, and I have to put this out there. There is a new season ticket holder (assuming he is because he's been in the same seat two games in a row) in section 430 Row M or so that is freakin' killing me. He believes he is coaching the Caps, I swear. He is constantly yelling "pass to the left, you got time, you got time, back door, back check back check, body body." You all get the picture. If you're on hear dude, shut the HE double hockey stick up. Hey everyone has their thing, but please, anyone else that may be in section 430 please share just how annoying this is. It gets progressively gets worse as the game goes on because he's sucking down the brews too. Hey, I'm all for cheering, or for showing displeasure for a boo hear and there, but I honestly believe this guy thinks the Caps are listening. Gonna tolerate it for a couple more games and if it continues me and about 8 other fellow season ticket holders are going to calmly go up and ask that he refrain from this annoying compulsive behavior.

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea why I typed hear for here last post. Sometimes my fingers just go too fast. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

thought Ovie was terrible tonight. One of the worst games I've seen him play at VC. He has to stop the giveaways.

I'm pretty impressed so far with B. Morrison and Knuble. Esp. Morrison. I wouldn't mind seeing Neuvirth up. I don't think anyone believes this team will go to the conference finals or Cup finals with Theo in net. Why not try someone else?

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | October 9, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with OV, was flat all game and like Locker said on the one power play chance he tried to pass it to Clark, he should of let it rip. He had a very passive game.

And I agree that Knuble has been skating pretty well, but Morrison has really been sticking out. Hes really trying to prove hes a 50 point scorer again, and when this team gets its game on, he certainly can do it.

Posted by: breaklance | October 9, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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