Thursday, January 11, 2007

Road Trip Opens With a Thud

Tampa Bay 5, Capitals 4

Brian Sutherby and Alex Ovechkin's collision in the third period symbolized the night for Washington. The Caps just couldn't seem to get on the same page as they started their season long road trip in Tampa. Every time they would get some momentum, the Lighting had the answer.

As they have been prone to do lately, the Caps got off to a lack-luster start. Surrendering an early questionable goal by Ryan Craig just 5 minutes in. Alexander Semin continued on his scoring tear by answering the Lightning with a power-play goal, one of his two goals on the night. But a turnover in their own zone led to a quick Vincent Levcavalier goal, one that Kolzig was visibly upset for giving up, and the 2-1 lead at the first intermission for the Lightning.

The second period was dominated early on by the Capitals. And a pretty pass from none other than Donald Brashear led Ben Clymer on a breakaway which he finished to put the Caps in front for the first time 3-2. But that lead would be short lived as just over a minute later the defense let them down again and Vinny Prospal put in his sixth of the season tying the game. Just a minute after that another turnover in their own zone led to Lecavalier's second goal of the game. At the end of the period Ovechkin would lead a break into the Lightning zone and his cross ice pass to captain Chris Clark who would beat Holmqvist and tie the score once again at 4-4 heading into the second intermission.

It would seem like the Caps would have all the momentum heading into the third period. But that momentum never materialized and it all went away when Marin St. Louis would put in his game winning 28th goal of the season tying Ovechkin for the league lead. Ending the hopes for the Caps on the night.

On the bright spot, it was another incredible performance put on by Alexander Semin. Where would the Caps be this year without Semin? He deserves a lot of credit in the improvement of the Caps this year, providing that secondary scoring touch that the team surely lacked last season. Should there be any justice at all, he also deserves to join Ovechkin with a spot on the All-Star team. Never the less, the Caps will need more of his help as they look to move back into the winning column when they take on the Florida Panthers Saturday night in Miami.

Notes: Caps enforcer Donald Brashear had another memorable fight battling it out with Tampa winger Andre Roy. Both players got there punches in but give the win to Brashear on the decision. Also, it was good to hear that Richard Zednik skated with the team during their daytime practice. The word is that he looks like he is ahead of schedule on his way back from a severe groin injury.

Capital Fanatic

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