Saturday, March 3, 2007

Another Loss in the Standings and the Lineup

Center Kris Beech is Lost to a Leg Injury After Blocking a Shot in the Second Period
New York Islanders 6, Washington Capitals 2
(Photo Courtesy of Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

If there was anything worse than losing tonight's game in a blowout fashion, it was the realization that the Capitals lineup will be even further depleted following the loss of center Kris Beech. Coming into the game with 7 defenseman and only 11 forwards dressed the team finished up with only two healthy centers in Jiri Novotny and Brian Sutherby.

But even with Beech in the lineup for a period and a half the Capitals were no match for the playoff bound Islanders. The game was never in doubt as the team from Long Island jumped all over them from the get go. They scored their first three goals of the game on the power play thanks to goals from Mike Sillinger, Miroslav Satan, and Marc-Andre Bergeron. That was on the way to building a 5-0 lead before the Caps were finally able to strike back.

Goals by Brian Pothier, on the power play, and Brian Sutherby, even strength, just 34 seconds apart swung the momentum squarely in the their favor half way through the third period. For Pothier it was only his second goal of the season and his first since January 1st. Sutherby on the other hand, has been on a role as of late, notching his 4th goal in his last 7 games.

Even with Washington's late surge, the game was never really close and Ryan Smyth's 1st goal as an Islander with 2:54 remaining sealed the deal for New York as they won soundly 6-2.

Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless ending his three game goal scoring streak despite leading the team in ice time with 26:21. Alexander Semin was also held scoreless despite 25:28 in ice time. The increased ice time should only be a sign of things to come as the team's lineup keeps getting thinner due to injuries.

Game Notes:

Alexandre Giroux provided a nice spark to the lineup in spite of only playing 9:26.... Sutherby continued his good faceoff performance as of late winning 11 of 19 draws on the night.... Novotny also won 8 of 12 faceoffs.... Frederic Cassivi replaced Brent Johnson in net during the third period. It was the second time this week he's come into a game in relief.

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