The Capitals did not get off to the best start, as Dundee dominated them physically in the corners in the Capitals’ zone. Dundee Captain Chris Lawrence led the way for the Stars, as he was able to help his team maintain possession and pressure Jordan McLaughlin in the Capitals’ goal. However, he was unable to stop the Stars from taking the lead less than 5 minutes into the period. After a neutral zone turnover, Brian Hart was able to steamroll into the Capitals zone from the left hand side and beat McLaughlin low right. The Capitals nearly got a goal back immediately afterword, but could not on a 2 v 1 as Travis Fullerton stood strong in net for the Stars. For the remainder of the period, both sides went back and forth exchanging low danger chances, and McLaughlin looked strong in net. Toward the end of the period, however, the Capitals would score a goal to tie the game at one a piece. After a spell of positive possession in the Stars’ zone, Igor Valeyev would send a pass to Sergei Banashkov, who could not miss from point blank range, firing a shot five hole past Fullerton. The goal would give the Capitals confidence, and they were able to cycle in the Stars’ zone and looked better physically.
Score after one: Capitals 1 Stars 1
The Capitals’ wave of confidence would not last long as Dundee would retake the lead early in the period thanks to an accurate wrist shot from Omar Pacha which McLaughlin was helpless to stop. The Stars would go on to score two more unanswered on fairly stoppable shots that beat McLaughlin regardless. Dundee would even get a powerplay, but the Capitals were able to deal with it. The first half of the period was very ugly for the Capitals, as they were pinned in their own end for the most of it. They were able to turn themselves around and get a goal back with a little over 10 minutes remaining, as Ainars Podzins somehow rammed the puck past Fullerton. After this, the Capitals would slowly but surely build up confidence and manage to establish control. They appeared to work harder, and managed to get some quality chances on goal. However, Dundee would score a 5th goal, and kill off whatever roll the Capitals seemed to be headed on. Before the period would end, a late hit would trigger a fight between Jay King and Jordan Cownie. The result would be a Capitals powerplay at the start of the 3rd period due to a crosschecking call on the hit.
Score after two: Capitals 2 Stars 5
The Capitals were unable to convert on their powerplay, and just as the penalty expired, Dundee would grab a sixth goal as their forward rushed out of the penalty box and on goal. The Stars would find the better of the chances in the minutes following the goal, and the Capitals looked helpless to stop them. The Stars would add a 7th with 13 minutes remaining in the game, and by that point, the Capitals looked completely out of focus. The Capitals would get a powerplay shortly after, when Ainars Podzins was tripped from behind. Before the powerplay would begin, the Stars would change goaltenders, putting Craig Holland in net. Things would get feisty after physical play led to another fight, this time involving Patrik Moisio. Moisio would receive a 10-minute misconduct penalty for this. The Capitals would score late in the period through Calum Robertson after a pin-balling puck found his stick. However, the Stars would score again immediately after this, as McLaughlin lay prone after stopping an initial effort, he could not stop the rebound. A 9th goal would be scored by the Stars on the powerplay with around 5 minutes left to play. Callum Robertson would score his second goal of the game to wrap things up, hopefully giving the young Scottish forward confidence in his game.
Final Score: Capitals 4 Stars 9
- Unable to ride confidence
After scoring in the first period, the Capitals looked as if they were possibly going to maintain some semblance of control in the game, however, this would prove false. The Caps would leak goals soon after starting the second period, as past trends have seen them do. They were only able to muster confidence after conceding three straight goals in the second period, but by then it was late with two minutes left until the period would end.
2. Still missing Beskorowany
In the games following the goalie’s injury, the Capitals have bled goals. Quite simply, the quality of goaltending outside of Beskorowany is not good enough to give the Capitals an advantage unless the offense is able to keep up. That isn’t to say McLaughlin had a poor game, but he is obviously not too the level of Beskorowany, which is to be expected from a young player.
3. End of season questions, same old same old
The Capitals are nearing the end of their season, and there are tons of questions facing the team. Who will become the new head coach? Which players will stay and which will go? Will the Capitals turn around their horrendous form and make the playoffs next season? Clearly some kind of overhaul is needed for this team, and this game was very archetypical of the Capitals. They looked to be okay until they break down and surrender goal after goal.
Image Courtesy of Edinburgh Capitals