Caps Avoid OT Despite Sloppy Play

Posted October 15, 2011

It’s the fourth game of an 82-game season, and the Capitals know it. Saturday’s match against the Ottawa Senators was sloppy by all accounts, but the Caps managed to hold onto a 2-1 lead and avoid a fourth straight overtime.

At the end of the first period, one Senators fan called the game “seven-year-old hockey,” and at the of the second, Jamison Ernst, a Baltimore Capitals fan said it looked like the team was coasting into the playoffs four games in.

Put into official team language, the Caps were happy to win, but acknowledged that it wasn’t their best play.

“It’s October. That’s not gonna float, you’re not gonna wanna see that in February, March, April. But in October it’s fine,” said Mike Knuble.

The Capitals outshot the Senators by almost half in the first period, and scored their only points of the night. By the end of the game, Ottawa had 34 shots to Washington’s 26.

Those two goals, though, came for players who might have most needed them.

Nicklas Backstrom opened up the game on the power play after not having scored a goal since March 22.  Marcus Johansson got his on a wrap-around after having had a disappointing preseason.

Despite the questions around the center position, Johansson feels he is his biggest critic, “I think the biggest pressure is from myself. I wanna be the best every night. You’re obviously not gonna be the best every night but you wanna get to the top.”

Roman Hamrlik, who was recognized for having played the most games by a Czech native (1,314), humbly accepted the praise from the crowd, but was focused more on the one at hand.

“When I started playing I never thought that I can make it and I’ve played so many games, but the most important thing is that we have two points tonight,” he commented, “And you know, that was just another game for me.”