After the Ottawa Senators tied the game at 2-2 on a goal by Ryan Shannon in the third period Monday night, the Capitals were presented with a timely opportunity. Ottawa's Peter Regin went off for hooking midway through the period, giving Washington its fourth power play of the contest.
But the Capitals couldn't get set up on the man advantage and Senators goaltender Pascal Leclaire needed to make only one save in that span. While neither the ineffectiveness on the power play then nor the Capitals' 0-for-5 showing on the man advantage ultimately altered the outcome of the game, it brought attention to Washington's slow-starting power play.
The Capitals are 1-for-13 through three games this season, while, conversely, the penalty kill is off to a superb start and thwarted all 12 opposing power plays it has faced thus far. Despite the discrepancy and perhaps the reverse situation of what many might expect from Washington's special-teams units, the Capitals aren't worried.
"Everything will come together on the power play, but one of our focuses [heading into the season] was that our PK wasn't great last year," said Mike Green, who played more than five minutes on the penalty kill and more than eight on the power play against Ottawa. "It was something we needed to focus on and it's part of the special teams that is going to win you hockey games. [Monday] we had five, six penalties on us and it was important we had a good PK. The power play will come, we have enough guys that can put the puck in the net."
When asked about the power play, Coach Bruce Boudreau noted that throughout his tenure, the Capitals have sputtered while on the man advantage in the early portion of the season.
For example, although Washington finished with the top-rated power play in the league last year (capitalizing at 25.2 percent), it started out going 8-for-48 (16.6) in the first 10 games of 2009-10. Through October last year, it was 13-for-63 (20.6). So maybe all there is to the power play is waiting for everything to click once more.
"For whatever reason, in October it hasn't been solid, then it starts picking up in November and gets better once the familiarity [picks up]," Boudreau said. "And there should be familiarity but it just seems to be we're out of sync a little bit and when we're getting chances we're not burying them."
FROM THE POST
Dan Steinberg on Tom Green unleashing the fury.
Also on the DC Sports Bog, Steinberg rates the Capitals' new introduction video.
IN THE MINORS
An evaluation of Braden Holtby at the start of the Bears' season, with videos. (PennLive.com)