Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Road Woes Continue

Loss is Caps 14th out of their Last 16 Games Away From the Verizon Center

Toronto Maple Leafs 3, Washington Capitals 0
(Photo Courtesy of Frank Gunn/AP)

After his streak of 26 straight starts was snapped last Saturday, Andrew Raycroft came into tonight's game refreshed and it showed. He made several remarkable saves on the way to stopping 24 Washington shots while recording his second shutout of the season.

A solid defensive first period for the Caps ended with a Kris Beech hooking penalty as the period expired. After a Shaone Morrisonn holding penalty on Johnny Pohl the Maple Leafs were given a two man advantage in the first minute of the second period. While the Caps were able to kill off both penalties, Toronto was able to crack the scoreboard shortly thereafter courtesy of a lucky bounce.

Pohl led the break into the right side of the offensive zone and fired a shot on net. Frederic Cassivi was able to make the blocker save, but the rebound deflected off of Darcy Tucker's right arm and into the back of the net. It was Tucker's 20th goal of the season in his first game back since missing time with a foot injury. Yanic Perreault added his 20th goal of the season as well and his 1st since joining the Maple Leafs for his third tour of duty 11 minutes later giving them a 2-0 lead.

An Alexei Ponikarovsky deflection of a Nik Antropov shot from the point stretched the lead to 3-0 just 2:47 into the final period. Both Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin had numerous scoring opportunities in their bid to get Washington back into the game, but neither was able to beat Raycroft.

The Caps continued to struggle on the power play as they had a hard time bringing the puck into the offensive zone the entire night. They failed to convert on all five of their opportunities.

Frederic Cassivi was the bright spot on the evening stopping 28 of 31 shots in his first start of the season in the NHL this season.

Overall, despite the lack of offense it was not a bad outing tonight for the Capitals. The better team was able to get the breaks and came out on top. It was as simple as that.

Game Notes:

Dave Steckel, who was recalled today from Hershey, was on the lineup sheet but did not see any ice time.... Kris Beech was the Caps leader in faceoffs as he won 9 of 15 draws for 60%.... Brian Muir was a healthy scratch.

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