Terrible Two Doom Capitals in Loss
Saturday, December 9, 2006
The Washington Capitals can't afford to give away a single goal, let alone two of them.
But that's exactly what they did last night at Verizon Center, where the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks skated to a 6-1 victory.
"We were fairly pumped up, we were on a roll, the [locker] room had a lot of energy," said Coach Glen Hanlon, whose team's four-game winning streak was halted. "Then [you give up] those two goals."
Shawn Thornton and Todd Marchant parlayed a pair of defensive zone miscues by the Capitals, including a bad exchange between goaltender Olie Kolzig and winger Alexander Semin behind the goal on the power play, into a 2-0 first-period lead.
It's all the Ducks needed.
"They are a very good hockey team," said Kolzig, who made 28 saves. "We wanted to come out hard in the first period and establish ourselves. You give that team a 2-0 lead and it's a big climb uphill."
Marchant also had two assists, Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist and Jean-Sebastien Giguere finished with 26 stops to lead the Ducks to their seventh win in eight games.
Semin scored the Capitals' goal, finishing a play that began with Alex Ovechkin's no-look pass between his skates. It was Semin's fourth goal in five games; Ovechkin had a game-high six shots on goal.
It was Washington's lone highlight, which was quite a departure from the previous four games, victories over Tampa Bay, Dallas, Buffalo and Ottawa. The Capitals scored a total of 22 goals during that span.
It was clear almost from the outset that another offensive outburst wasn't forthcoming -- and it had as much to do with the Capitals' play as their opponent's.
"They had the puck most of the night," Hanlon said. "It looked at times like we were lethargic, but it wasn't that. We were up for the game. We were ready, we just couldn't get the puck back."
Anaheim Coach Randy Carlyle said, "We knew they were firing on all cylinders and we knew what we had to protect and guard against was not letting them get the momentum and the first goal."