Instant analysis: Capitals-Canes

Instant analysis: Capitals-Canes
March 30, 2011, 1:58 am
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 10:14 p.m.

By Ryan OHalloran
Staff writerCSNwashington.com

A recap of the Capitals 3-2 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night:

Why the Capitals lost: Defenseman John Carlson pointed to mental lapses throughout the game and even though they totaled 40 shots, there werent a ton of Grade A-type scoring chances. The power play was 0-for-3 and managed only six shots. Goalie Semyon Varlamov let in a softie of a goal that allowed Carolina to tie the score at 2-all early in the third period. All in all, the Capitals looked like a team that was on home ice for the first time in seven games. Just not very much rhythm in any facet of their game.

The good: Carolina had only 26 shots on goal and just 16 in non-power play situations. The Capitals penalty kill had another solid night the Hurricanes notched a power play goal but Washington killed off an early 4-on-3 and didnt give Carolinas skill players a lot of breathing room.

The bad: The Capitals played the third period and overtime without defenseman Dennis Wideman, who was injured when falling to the ice and hit by Tuomo Ruutu. Replays showed that Ruutus knee collided with Widemans thigh so it doesnt appear if its a knee injury. Wideman logs heavy minutes and is on the first power play unit. Already without Mike Green, the Capitals had to shuffle with only five healthy defensemen available.
Key moment: Trailing 1-0 in the second period and on the power play, the Capitals gave up a semi-breakaway and Wideman was called for holding up Chad LaRose, resulting in a penalty shot. It was a horrible call but the Capitals got away with it when Varlamov poke-checked LaRose on the penalty shot attempt to keep the deficit at one goal. Two minutes later, Alexander Semin scored to tie the game.

Key stat: 0. Ice time in overtime for Semin, who committed a hooking penalty with 3:19 left in regulation and almost cost the Capitals a point had Carolina cashed in on the power play. As coach Bruce Boudreau said afterward, Semin has been committing the same stupid penalties for five years.

Key stat II: 19:20. Ice time for Alex Ovechkin in his return following a three-game absence. Ovechkin had five shots on goal and five hits and his physical play showed that he was fresh.

Capitals player of the game: Playing a team-high 28 minutes, 12 seconds, Carlson had another solid game with one assist, a plus-2 rating, five blocked shots and a whopping eight shots on goal.

Contact Ryan at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com