The first time Tomas Vokoun faced the Philadelphia Flyers as a Capital he saw 42 shots and allowed only two goals. The second time around, in an ugly 5-1 Caps loss on Tuesday night, Vokoun saw exactly half the shots but let in four goals, all in two periods of work before getting pulled for Michal Neuvirth.
It is a contrast consistent with the Capitals season, a year that has Vokoun and his teammates searching for answers after a promising start. But to Vokoun himself, the home loss to Philly clearly stands out. It was a night he knew he had to take the blame for.
It was a terrible performance. Its certainly not pleasant and its unfortunate in a game like that, he said.
Theres not really much to say, it was a bad performance by me.
Vokoun allowed his first goal late in the first period after 16 minutes of relatively even hockey. Philadelphias Scott Hartnell bounced one from the top of the circle that slid right through Vokouns legs and into the net. Though it was his 200th career goal, Hartnell skated several strides before celebrating as even he didnt expect it to go in. It looked like a shot intended to create a rebound and nothing more.
Afterwards Vokoun acknowledged he saw the puck, but had no excuse or real explanation for why it got past him.
The first one I saw, it was a bad goal, he said. You dont like to give up a goal like that, it was all around bad stuff was happening. I didnt help with what I was doing out there.
Vokoun allowed three goals total in the second period, the first two off tipped pucks with Capitals forwards blocking his vision. Then, with less than three minutes to go Vokoun let in a fourth goal, a Maxime Talbot slapshot that bounced off his left leg and over his shoulder.
The fourth one I didnt see, it just went through our defenseman. But still you have to make the saves, there are no excuses.
Vokoun went 6-1-0 in October with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. He has since gone 6-7-0 with a 2.80 GAA and .889 clip, an extended slump that has the 35-year-old veteran taking it one day at a time.
It was a horrible game, he said. Obviously it is disappointing and its going to be a tough night tonight, but tomorrow is a new day. I have to get back to work and start over.