The Shootout Returns to Washington

Florida 2 - Washington 1 F-SO

One of the things most people made note of upon Viktor Kozlov's signing with the Caps was his proficiency in the shootout. Tonight, he was exactly as good as advertised. Sadly, so were the rest of his teammates. Once again, the Caps didn't do anything particularly badly (aside from a couple of bad penalties at the start of the game), but they also didn't do anything well enough to come away with two points. This is getting sort of repetitive, no?

  • I hate to trot out the tried-and-true "hot goalie" cliche, but Thomas Vokoun was on fire tonight. His save on Alex Ovechkin's power-play one-timer at the end of OT had me shaking my head in disbelief.
  • At the other end, Olie Kolzig was equally brilliant. He is in a zone right now. If only someone could find a way to close up his five-hole during shootouts...
  • Dave Steckel had a very good, if very frustrating, night. Chris Clark's goal came immediately after Steckel hustled to the corner to beat out an icing call despite being at the end of his shift. (I could note that, had he failed to beat out the icing, he would have been forced to go back for a defensive zone draw, since there are no line changes for the team that ices the puck, so that maybe it wasn't so much heroism as self-preservation. But I won't.) He also managed to create some quality scoring chances. If he could find a way to get the puck more than an inch off of the ice, the Capitals probably skate away with a regulation win tonight.
  • Both Clark and Alexander Semin were both absent from the bench during OT and the shootout. Which is foreboding, to say the least. Anybody think the Caps' chances would've improved if they could've trotted Semin out during the shootout?
  • The AP report lists the announced attendance as 10, 526, the second lowest of the season. If the actual number of butts in seats was even two thirds that, I'll eat my hat.
  • Speaking of hats, classy move by Brent Johnson, wearing the Burgundy and Gold on the bench in place of his usual RWB.
  • If I told you that both goaltenders in tonight's game had 2.85 GAAs, would you believe me? Not to mention the fact that their respective save percentages are seperated by just .009. Methinks the Caps might considering scoring a little more often.
  • Ovechkin's point streak ends at nine games. Here's hoping he starts another such streak Friday night.
Next up is Friday night in Raleigh against the Hurricanes.

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