After the Thrashers defeated the Capitals, 3-1, on Saturday night, Atlanta Coach Craig Ramsay said that the third goal was the result of a set play his team had drawn up to try to counteract the Capitals' penalty kill. Heading into the contest, Washington had killed 11 of 13 penalties against the Thrashers.
On this particular occasion, before the Capitals could even look to pressure an Atlanta player, a pass was sent to Andrew Ladd, who backpedaled to down along the goal line on the right side of the net unnoticed until the puck was on his stick.
The Capitals have gone 21-for-24 on the penalty kill in the past six games, but Atlanta's familiarity with the defense brings a new strategy that the unit must be prepared for as well, in the form of set plays off faceoff wins that neutralize Washington's ability to challenge.
"Any time we sit back and make plays, we get in trouble," Mike Green said. "That was the case [Saturday] night; we gave them an extra second and they made a play, so we've got to put pressure on and stay with it... All they need is a second. We gave it to them."
Here's the video of that goal:
FROM THE POST
Colleague Gene Wang examines the Capitals' recent lack of goal scoring despite plenty of offensive chances.
AROUND THE WEB
Capitals prospects Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev and Dmitry Orlov have been named to Russia's World Junior Championship camp roster for the 2011 tournament in Buffalo. (NHL.com)
The Canadian media markets don't have anything on the microscope that HBO's "24/7" puts the Capitals and Penguins under for the next month. (Toronto Star)
The NHL's board of governors meetings begin Monday in Palm Beach, Fla., and their talks are expected to include the potential upward movement of next year's salary cap number. (TSN)