Are changes coming for the Washington Capitals?
Penalties and Turnovers Cost Caps Two Points
Photo by Alena Schwarz
The story of the 2013 Washington Capitals has been bad turnovers, too many penalties, and a horrible shot differential. On Saturday, it was more of the same as the New York Islanders downed the Capitals 5-2 at the Nassau Coliseum. The game marked Philipp Grubauer’s first NHL start, and while the Capitals couldn’t get the victory he was the reason why the scoreline didn’t look worse.
“It’s deflating,” said Troy Brouwer with regards to the amount of penalties Washington took and remarked that it was akin to “shooting ourselves in the foot.” Karl Alzner took it a step further and said “I don’t know why. I really don’t know why. It’s frustrating when that happens.”
The Islanders opened up the scoring when a bad pinch by John Carlson in the defensive zone allowed Frans Nielsen to feed Josh Bailey, who then buried the puck past Grubauer. In the second period, both teams traded goals. Joel Ward was able to capitalize on a man advantage to tie the game at one. A bad turnover by Alex Ovechkin allowed Casey Cizikas to pull the Islanders ahead 2-1. Nick Backstrom fired a laser that beat Islanders starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, which forced the game into another tie. After Mike Ribeiro was called for a high-stick, he went off on the referees and got called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It was there the wheels on the Capitals wagon came off the axle.
“He should’ve known better,” said Adam Oates, when referring to the Ribeiro unsportsmanlike penalty. While the Capitals were on the kill, Brad Boyes found John Tavares, who then found the back of the net. The score was then 3-2 Islanders, and it was all they needed. Tavares found the net once more off of a feed from Matt Moulson. Frans Nielsen also scored at 16:59 to make the score 5-2.
While Philipp Grubauer said that he felt that his first start was “good,” but then added “five goals at the end, that’s not the way we want to play.” Brouwer praised the work of his teammate, stating he “played unbelievable tonight,” and added “45 shots, and two back door tap-ins, saved a couple of breakaways. He gave us an opportunity to win tonight.”
The Capitals must brush off the loss quickly as the Blueshirts take a trip down the I-95 corridor to the Phone Booth for a 12:30 face-off.