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Time to Push the Panic Button?
Joel Ward and Alex Semin exchange greetings during a scuffle. (Caps Outsider)
Caps fans are great! Whether it’s snowing, raining or in the midst of a government shutdown, they show up in droves for Caps games. It was no different Thursday as fans came in the pouring rain to see the Caps play the Carolina Hurricanes. At 8:48 in the first period, they were rewarded for their steadfast dedication and were treated to a goal by Jason Chimera, assisted by Eric Fehr and John Carlson. Each player earned their first point of the season. Just minutes later, a bit of extracurricular activity ensued when Tom Wilson got into a brief scuffle with Hurricanes center Brett Sutter. The first period ended with Caps fans’ jerseys finally drying out after being drenched during their trek to the Verizon Center, and with the Caps leading the Hurricanes 1-0.
The Caps controlled the game in the beginning of the second period, but didn’t score. Then, despite the call from the Christopher Walken on the big screen for ‘more cowbell’ and fans making a lot of noise and playing ‘spot the cow’, a Chick-fil-A promotion, the Caps disappointingly went 0 for 3 on the power play. The Hurricanes followed that with their first goal on the night scored by Elias Lindholm. Not to be outdone, Caps’ captain Alex Ovechkin answered back with his 6th goal of the season, assisted by Steve Olesky and, new papa, Nicklas Backstrom. But the Hurricanes would strike back with a goal by Alexander Semin which brought the boo birds out in force to “welcome back” the former Cap. A lot of pushing and shoving in front of both nets rounded out the second period with the score tied 2-2.
A pretty uneventful start to the period 3 ended abruptly when center, Nathan Gerbe, scored the Hurricanes’ 3rd goal putting them one up on the Caps. Fans knew they had a job to do. They didn’t come out in the pouring rain to see their team lose. They ‘unleashed the fury’ to pump up the team for a final surge but to no avail. The Caps fell to the Hurricanes 2-3. Fans went back out into the rain taking with them a double damper on the evening.
This match-up was Alexander Urbom’s first game as a Washington Capital. The 6’4″, 215 lb defenseman was claimed off waivers from New Jersey on Oct 3rd.
A disappointed Karl Alzner spoke after the game. “We need to figure out how to score more goals 5 on 5, but it was a good effort and there was a lot of energy in the building.”
“We just have to play better,” said an equally discouraged Nicklas Backstrom. “This is not good enough, that’s for sure.”
Braden Holtby added,” There were a few scrambles in front of the net that we’d like to clean up, but I thought we battled hard on those, too. We did a fairly good job, just off a little bit with our turnovers.”
“I thought it was a good hockey game,” said an optimistic Adam Oates. “Both teams played well. It was a good hockey game. All of our games have been close and could’ve gone either way. It is not time to push the panic button.”
The Caps next game is Saturday, October 12th at home against the Avalanche.