Were Capitals running on empty?

Were Capitals running on empty?
February 28, 2013, 11:30 am
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Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals reflect on their 4-1 loss to the Flyers on Wednesday night in Philadelphia and look ahead to Saturday night’s visit to Winnipeg:

Slow start: The Caps allowed two goals to the Flyers in the first 4:04 of play, marking the first time in nine games they surrendered the first goal of the game. Most of the Caps blamed fatigue from playing at home against the Carolina Hurricanes the night before.

“I don’t know, maybe we were tired,” said Caps right wing Alex Ovechkin, who put 12 chances at the net -- six that got through to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, five that were blocked and one that missed the net. ““It’s blame on us. We shouldn’t start like that.”

If the shoe fits: Clearly, the Flyers’ game plan was to jump on the Caps at the start of the game. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he knows the vulnerability of teams playing in back-to-back games.

The Flyers have already played a league-high 22 games, three more than the Caps, and have played five back-to-backs this season, two more than the Caps.

“We’ve been in those shoes before,” Laviolette said. “Sometimes everybody’s intentions are good, but you’re trying to get oil out of a rock. Washington came in and they kept playing until the end but it’s just difficult.

“They played an emotional game against Carolina [Tuesday night] and played a real good game. They had to travel through the night and catch a fresh team. We’ve been in those shoes. They are not easy shoes to walk in and they kept fighting until the end of the night.”

Rough road: With their loss to the Flyers the Capitals are now 2-6-1 on the road heading into their visit to what promises to be a raucous environment in Winnipeg. They are 5-5-0 at VerizonCenter.

“It’s a tough battle for us right now on the road,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “We’re in a tough position. We know every game is important; points are important and we can’t come out and play like this, that’s not going to help us. It’s not good enough.”

Unsportsmanlike: Mike Ribeiro admits he has a tendency of saying the wrong things at the wrong times and that’s what happened 4:15 into the third period Wednesday night when he was slapped with a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a 10-minute misconduct.

Ribeiro said he complained about a missed holding penalty against him and got into a battle words in the faceoff circle on another occasion before getting hit with 12 minutes in penalties. Ribeiro now has two misconduct penalties this season.