I haven't been able to watch any replays of the would-be tying goal that was washed out because Alex Ovechkin was in the crease, but suffice to say that after the Capitals watched the replay immediately after the end of regulation they were left with questions as to why that goal didn't count.
With that marker erased with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation Dallas went on to win, 2-1, to end Washington's four-game winning streak and leave the Capitals with a bad taste in their mouths.
Coach Bruce Boudreau had quite a bit to say about the officiating after the game, from the non-goal at the end of regulation to some of the minor penalties called against the Capitals in the second period. Here's some of what didn't make it in the print edition:
"It's a bad call [the non-goal]," he said. "Refs make bad calls but at that time of the game when you're down one you better be sure something is happening instead of wanting to make that call, let alone the calls in the second period. I want to know and I hope I get a call on this thing what the actual rule is for breaking a guy's stick with the slash.
"I've seen breaking the stick called, breaking the stick no call," Boudreau said. "I've heard every different excuse in the book but unless we're all on the same page as officials and coaches and management and league we're going to question it every game because every game it's different."
On to some other notes from the game before my early trip back to Washington, where the Capitals will practice tomorrow afternoon:
--The end of regulation controversy not withstanding the Capitals had several chances against Andrew Raycroft in the first period but some of their best opportunities were blocked or sailed wide of the net. Washington outshot Dallas 14-7 in the opening frame, but the Capitals had another eight chances blocked and seven more that missed. It's hard to guess how the game might have played out if one of those might have gone in.
"They were trying to pick corners," Boudreau said. "Guys that were holding their sticks too tight because they haven't scored a goal are trying to be cute and pick spots."
--With no goal against the Stars Thursday night, Ovechkin has gone nine straight contests without scoring tying the longest goal-scoring drought of his career in the 2008-09 season.
--Boudreau said he was happy with Michal Neuvirth's first start since Nov. 20 against the Flyers and that if Brandon Segal's shot from the right faceoff circle in the third hadn't been a "knuckleball" that the Capitals netminder would have stopped it. Neuvirth finished with 19 saves.
--Part of the reason it's hard to fault Neuvirth, particularly on the first goal, was the long stretch on the penalty kill for the Capitals in the second period. Dallas had 7 minutes and 17 seconds in the second stanza on the power play before Mike Ribero's goal broke the scoreless tie at 13:29 of the second period.
As those shorthanded minutes piled up it was easy to see Washington's penalty killers growing a little stiffer, a little less aggressive and it just seemed to diminish the Capitals' early momentum. And the situation was made worse by the fact that several players went several minutes on the bench during those penalties.
"It starts wearing on you physically. You're blocking shots, for the forward part you're on for no more than 20 seconds -- you try to ramp it up for those 20 seconds and do everything you can to keep the puck out of the net," Matt Hendricks said. "You give a team like that with talent like that enough opportunities and they're going to find the back of the net."
--Scott Hannan played 19:02 in his first game with the Capitals including a team-high 4:50 on the penalty kill. Although it was an interference call on Hannan the Capitals were trying to kill off when Mike Ribeiro scored to give the Stars a 1-0 lead, the newest Washington player had a solid outing. Hannan blocked four shots and was credited with three hits.
"I think he did his job," Boudreau said. "He's a good shut down, stay at home [defenseman]. You're not going to get 20 goals out of him...but he blocks shots, he does what he's supposed to. He can log a lot of minutes, he's done that in the past. I think we've got a good player."
--Lost in the hubbub at the end of the game was an instance of Ovechkin coming to the aid of his teammate at the end of the first period. Adam Burish had lined Marcus Johansson up for a hit at center ice. After the collision Ovechkin immediately skated over, started a bit of a fracas and let Burish know he didn't appreciate the hit.