After losing, 2-1, in Dallas, Matt Hendricks remarked that regardless of the mess of penalties in the second period, Thursday night's tilt was a "a good, full 60 minutes of hockey." Although the loss left the Capitals feeling upset, the contest was the type of game they're learning to play in this year and, more often than not, win.
The loss dropped Washington to 8-2-2 in one-goal games, but it was for the most part a consistent effort throughout the entire contest. (Granted, there was a lapse with the surplus of shorthanded time in the middle of the second period, but that seemed bound to happen as the Capitals continued to be whistled for minors.) Putting together a complete game for the fifth time since they were shut out, 5-0 in New Jersey on Nov. 22, should be encouraging for the Capitals even if it didn't yield two points.
"I thought we played pretty good," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We outplayed them pretty well for a team that had three power plays to their five, you know."
Last season, the Capitals were 20-8-13 in one-goal games. They accumulated a lot of points in those contests but by forcing a significant number to overtime or a shootout, and if the goal is to avoid -- as Boudreau has said in the past -- the 6-4 offensive barrage style contests and play with more control it appears Washington is getting there.
Alex Ovechkin tied his career-longest goal-scoring drought (2008-09) as his ninth contest without a goal passed by against the Stars. But he has been piling up assists and possibly developing a new part of his game while not lighting the lamp.
AROUND THE WEB
Thursday, we linked to Forbes's various NHL evaluations and rankings. Ted Leonsis responded to those articles and said that "Forbes undervalues" the Capitals. (Ted's Take)
Chris Botta on embracing the hype that is about to get rolling with the Winter Classic now less than a month away. (FanHouse)
In Hershey, the Bears have done some lineup tinkering in search of more balanced scoring. (The Patriot News)