Oates: Not easy to pull a rabbit out of your hat that often
WASHINGTON – In his nine seasons with the Capitals, defenseman Mike Green has seen his peaks and valleys.
Never has he been subjected to a period that rivals his first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In just six shifts in the first period Green took five penalties totaling 18 minutes, resulting in 5:54 of power play time for the Lightning.
“It’s hard to play when you take that many penalties early,” Oates said. “I’ll talk to him [Wednesday] about it. He bounced back the second half of the game.
“It’s a tough environment when you get booed. People pay a lot of money. He knows. He’s not happy about it. But we’ll talk about what it is. Preparation, etcetera. But he had a better second half of the game.”
Green assisted on Ovechkin’s third power-play goal of the night and finished a minus-1 with two shots and four hits. He did not speak to reporters after the game.
[RELATED: Ovechkin powers Caps to incredible comeback]
Green’s night began with a double minor for high sticking Valttteri Filppula under the visor just 2:14 into the contest. The Lightning scored on the front end of that penalty and on his second shift out of the penalty box Green took a tripping penalty that led to the Bolts’ second goal at 10:49.
Less than a minute later, Green took another penalty, this one a high-sticking minor that set him off. Green was slapped with a 10-minute misconduct and was in the locker room when the Lightning made it 3-0 on the ensuing power play, chasing goaltender Braden Holtby, who showed his frustration by mistreating his equipment in the runway behind the Caps’ bench.
“Just forget about it,” Caps defenseman Karl Alzner said when asked what he said to Green. “The first one was clearly a penalty. The other ones, if you look at them close, were just bad luck.
“A guy steps on his stick. The other guys lifts his stick into his own face. There’s not a lot you can do about it. It was really crappy to see what was going on out there every time he touched the puck. We tried to cheer him up a little bit in the room.”
Pulling out a 6-5 win certainly helped, but Oates said he would speak with Green on Wednesday to dissect what happened in that first period.