This was not the average, run-of-the-mill game between two rivals. Sure, there was a certain level of intensity and animosity apparent between the Capitals and Lightning but it was also a strange game with plenty of awkward bounces, turnovers and lack of polish on both sides.
“It was one of those games that I don’t know if you’ll ever see a game like that again,” said Jason Chimera, who scored two goals in the third period. “I was talking to Knubes [forward Mike Knuble] on the bench and he’s been around a long time — he said he’s never seen that many goals like that go in on one goalie. So it just one of those nights. It’s good for us to bounce back and huge for us [to get] those two points.”
As you can read more in the game story, it was not a storybook debut for Tomas Vokoun as a Capital. He gave up two goals off shots from behind the goal line that banked in off of his body, another that was knocked in by one of his own defenseman (Mike Green) and strange bounces all night.
But on both sides there were odd turnovers, passes that missed the mark and shots that missed the net completely — the Capitals had 19 shots miss the intended target and another 23 attempts blocked in addition to the 43 they put on net.
There were over 14 minutes of power-play time but all 10 goals came at even strength, and there never seemed to be much of a coherent flow to the contest one way or the other.
“It was a weird game,” Tampa Bay Coach Guy Boucher said. “It’s the beginning of the year, so guys are fumbling pucks — turnovers when you usually don’t. Weird pucks going in, so basically it was a dog fight.”
Dwayne Roloson, who at 41 was by far the oldest player on the ice, added that it was “probably the craziest of all my years playing.”
The Capitals are off tomorrow, but be sure to keep an eye out for posts with more from tonight’s game including items on Alex Ovechkin, Chimera and Marcus Johansson.