Caps Fall 3-2 to the Devils in OT

 

Well that was a bit better, right?

Entering tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils, the Capitals were the only team in the NHL without a point.

Through the first 50 or so minutes, that didn’t look like changing anytime soon.

Stephen Gionta opened the scoring for the Devils with a wide-open look after some nifty moves by Jacob Josefson.  Caps’ goaltender Michael Neuvirth didn’t stand a chance.

Patrick Elias added a goal from a 5-on-3 power-play in the 2nd period.  The Caps have already given up four 5-on-3 opportunities, and have allowed goals during all of them.  Not good.

The team again looked lost, committing mental errors and settling to dump and chase with minimal success. 

The Caps’ luck changed midway through the third period when they ended up with a 5-on-3 power-play of their own, and Mike Ribeiro converted a great feed from Joel Ward for his first goal as a Cap.

The goal seemed to jumpstart the squad, and with three minutes left in the game, Mike Green fired a seeing-eye shot past Martin Brodeur to tie the game at two.

Into overtime we went.

Mike Green committed a penalty, putting the Caps in a 4-on-3 situation, but Neuvirth, who stood on his head for much of the night, bailed the team out.

The game looked to be heading for a two-all score line, when Marek Zidlicky fired a cross ice pass to the one man on the Devils that you want as far away from the puck as possible, Ilya Kovalchuk.

Kovalchuk made no mistake and buried his chance past Neuvirth with 20.5 seconds left on the clock.

So while the Caps showed a few bright spots, I doubt fans turned off their TV’s tonight feeling warm and fuzzy about the current state of their team.

There are now more questions than answers.

What is wrong with Alex Ovechkin?  Is Adam Oates out of his depth?  Will Joel Ward score 50 goals? 

There are no clear-cut answers to those (Ward is on fire through four games, it could happen) questions.

Adam Oates needs to figure things out and figure them out quick, as every game is twice as valuable with a 48 game season.

The Caps next chance to turn things around comes Sunday at Verizon Center when the Sabres come to town.  Let’s hope tonight’s third period showing was a sign of things to come.

 

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