For the first thirty minutes of Sunday's meeting with the Penguins, the Capitals seemed to be keeping pace. After matching each of Pittsburgh's first two tallies, including a fluke bounce off the glass that Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun completely misplayed, the Capitals proceeded to give up three goals in just over seven minutes.
That hole would, once again, prove too deep for this Washington team to climb back out.
"They're a dangerous hockey team," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. "They created a lot of chances and at certain points we had to play good defense."
Despite receiving three power play opportunities to respond, Washington would only capitalize on one of them.
"They feel [dangerous]. The power play in particular," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "They were two minutes in the offensive zone and they've got one-timers from Green, Ovechkin and Brouwer in the middle. With two great playmakers distributing the puck it feels pretty darn dangerous out there. We also see the three, four, maybe five times where they get the speed through the neutral zone and Ovechkin is going with speed. They're a dangerous team when they're like that."
The Capitals did turn the heat up on their former netminder, putting eleven shots on Vokoun in the third period after a sleepy second where he faced just four. Despite the increased pressure, the Capitals could manufacture only one power play goal when an open Mike Ribeiro sent Troy Brouwer's rebound home to make it 5-3. After showing an impressive amount of discipline through the better part of three periods however, the Caps gave Pittsburgh a two-man advantage with a minute and change left on the clock, which Chris Kunitz mailed home for a hat trick.
Time not on the Capitals' side
CSN Washington | Feb 4