A very sloppy Washington Capitals team lost to a well playing Philadelphia Flyers team in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 2 yesterday. After winning eight straight games, including their last seven regular season games and Game 1 of the playoffs, Washington seemed to have run out of gas.
Unlike the high scoring Game 1, Game 2 was decided on a mere two goals. Both were even strength Flyers' goals scored in the first period. R.J. Umberger got his at 5:53 , and Jeff Carter hit the net at 15:17. The shots were almost even in the first, with the Washington getting 10 and Philadelphia managing 9. Obviously, the Flyers made better use of theirs.
The Capitals' defense improved in the second period. However, Flyers' goalie Martin Biron still only faced half as many shots as Washington's Cristobal Huet. The Cap's forwards spent most of the middle period much like the first. They didn't seem to be able to concentrate on what they were doing, leading to several panicky turnovers.
Washington seemed to have more energy and determination in the third period. They were actually able to cause some Flyers' turnovers. But again, they couldn't capitalize on their chances. Thankfully, Philadelphia couldn't put the puck in the net either, though they had plenty of chances.
Ultimately, Washington was just plain outplayed from beginning to end. Philadelphia successfully clogged up the middle. If they couldn't get up the middle, the Cap's should've chipped the puck up the walls. They only got scoring chances when they played dump and chase. Yet they didn't seem especially interested in going that route. The Cap's had too many bad passes, which led to an awful lot of turnovers. Philadelphia was focused on playing as a team and using their systems. Washington did not play as a team. Each of the Capitals seemed to think they had to do it all by themselves. It just doesn't work like that. Being outshot 41-24, they're lucky Huet was playing as well as he was.
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