Beninati: That empty feeling again

Beninati: That empty feeling again
January 27, 2011, 6:09 am
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Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:15 a.m.


By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-by-Play

The Capitals have been shutout seven times this season and with each passing occasion their offensive woes become more troubling.

The first period of tonight's action will not be winning any awards for excitement. Two teams combined for just 12 shots and few if any of them made Ondrej Pavelec or Semyon Varlamov sweat.

A bad bounce led to the only goal of the game in the second period. The puck rolled strangely away from Jeff Schultz some 30-feet in front of the Washington net. Fredrik Modin picked up the loose puck, looped away from pressure, and found Nik Antropov walking right down the slot. Antropov's snap shot beat Varlamov on the glove side to give Atlanta the advantage.

The Caps picked up their work rate in the second frame. They wound up throwing 18 shots at Pavelec, who made a couple of sharp saves and also was the beneficiary of a Thrasher team very willing to clog up the area around the net.

There were two goal mouth scrambles where I was sure the Caps were going to click for a power play goal only to be frustrated again.

In the third frame the Thrashers stood firm with their gameplan and denied the Caps any easy entries into the offensive zone. There were very few odd man rushes available for either club.

In the dying seconds of the game the Caps put a ton of pressure on Pavelec, who made his sharpest save on Mike Green with under a minute to go.

Enjoy the All-Star festivities and wish Ovechkin and Green a good trip and good health.