February 7, 2013

Maple Leafs Vs Capitals February 5, 2013 Game Review

Johansson scores in period one, but Caps drop game to Leafs - Washington, DC February 5, 2013.
Photo © Alex Brandon / AP Photo.

Toronto Maple Leafs 3 Vs Washington Capitals 2 = Home Game Loss

It was the same old song and dance for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night - February 5, 2013, when they lost 3 - 2 at home. This time, Washington lost to a probably fairly tired Toronto Maple Leafs, who had been beaten up the night before.

Michal Neuvirth, was back between the pipes for for the Capitals, whom head coach Adam Oates seems to have the most confidence in, and rightfully so. Neuvirth has been performing consistently well, although with the help of other players, that doesn't show up in his personal statistics or team stats.

Ten minutes into the first period however, Neuvirth had a moment of indecision, and / or miscommunication with defenseman Tom Poti. Neither one of them really took charge of the puck, behind the net during a breakout, and Toronto's James Van Riemsdyk made them pay. Van Riemsdyk scooped up the puck and quickly made his way to the front of the net for the stuff. It looked bad for Michal and the Washington two-and-a-half minutes later, when Van Riemsdyk managed to score a second time. He had plenty of time and a couple whacks at the puck, while hanging out by the goal crease, and no one from Washington there to impede him.

The Capitals did answer back, while on a power-play three minutes before the end of the opening period, when forward Marcus Johansson finally scored his first goal of the season. Nicklas Backstrom (C) gained control of the puck behind the Leafs' net, and passed it out to defenseman Tomas Kundratek, who relayed it to Johansson. Similar to Van Riemsdyk's second goal, Marcus lifted the puck over goalie Ben Scrivens unopposed.

Unfortunately for Washington, a goal by Korbinian Holzer (D) put the Leafs back to two ahead during the second period, while the teams were at even-strength. This turned out to be the game winner, for Toronto.

Mike Ribeiro (C) scored the Caps' only other goal, which came in the third period. It was another PPG, with assists by forwards Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin. They produced a few scoring chances as the clock wound down, but did not convert.

I was glad to see Johansson get his first goal. Maybe, that will spur him on to get it going. He certainly has had more energy and effort, since being a healthy scratch. Players will respond in different ways, but it seems like it's worked on him.

The power-play is starting to click for Washington, and that is a real good sign. They keep their legs moving, and maintaining a fair amount of puck possession, they will draw more penalties. The Capitals are doing a lot of things well at times. If they string enough good habits together, at the same time, the goals and the wins will come. With 21% of this short season already gone, it needs to happen now.

Caps Postgame Locker Room 02/05/13: Caps players Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Tomas Kundratrek, Michal Neuvirth and Tom Poti address the media after a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Adam Oates Postgame 02/03/13: Caps head coach Adam Oates addresses the media after a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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