Well, it started off good. The Preds outshot the Caps 18-7 in the first period and had a 1-0 lead with a couple of pucks off the post to go along with it. The second period wasn't bad either as Nashville escaped with a 2-0 lead. However, the third period was dreadful. There was no pressure in the offensive zone, several stupid turnovers were commited, and the Preds were essentially playing with 3 lines after Goc got knocked out of the game by a cheapshot by Backstrom.
The Capitals rallied and beat the Preds by a score of 3-2 in overtime. The goalscorers for the Preds were Dumont and Tootoo, while Semin, Fleischmann, and Laich scored for Washington. Ovechkin was pretty much non-existent tonight until the final shot that was tipped in by Laich. Weber and Suter did a very good job on him for the most part. Here are some key points to take away from the game:
Nashville struggled with this all of last year and it has been a problem in the last two games. The Preds barely escaped with a win vs St.Louis after a terrible third period effort and weren't so lucky tonight. YOU'VE GOT TO PLAY THE WHOLE GAME. I understand that Goc was out. I understand that Kostitsyn is virtually ineffective with his broken toe. I understand that Erat, Lombardi, and Rinne are also out. But you've got to keep pushing. They proved that they could outplay the Caps through the first 2 periods. Why stop what you were doing? They went into a defensive mode of hockey which is a huge mistake against the Caps. The best defense is always offensive possesion.
BACKSTROM HIT ON GOC
I'm very upset about this. Nicklas Backstrom's hit on Marcel Goc was simply dirty, and he should be suspended for it. Goc didn't have the puck and had his back turned to Backstrom. He hit into the boards head first, came up looking like he was significantly injured, and did not return the rest of the game. The league needs to look at this and suspend him. I don't care if he's Nicklas Backstrom. It was a dirty hit and there's no place in the game for it. He should've been kicked out of the game. Of course, he wasn't, and went on to have 2 assists on the night in the one-goal overtime victory for the Caps.
EVERY POINT COUNTS
You don't have to be some sort of nuclear physicist to figure out that every point in the NHL is important at the end of the season. The Preds simply gave a point away tonight. Nothing will irritate me more than lack of effort and they showed a serious lack of effort in the third period tonight.
Was it the right call? I don't particularly think so. Is Alexander Ovechkin going to get that call every single time? Yes. Suter was caught out of position and Ovechkin had a step of him. Ovechkin fell. He got the call. And he'll get it 100% of the time. Is that right? No, it's not. But i'm not going to sit here and say that cost us the game. Give a better effort in the third and it wouldn't have gotten to that point.
I'm very upset about this game. Having said that, we've got to put it behind us and focus on Calgary. Pekka Rinne and Martin Erat are "close" to getting back. Does that mean Tuesday? I personally think so. We'll find out more about Matthew Lombardi on Monday. Put this loss behind you and move on. One game at a time. Let's go get 2 points on Tuesday.