Sending out a top line of Pavel Vorobyev, Mike Cazzola and Marek Tvrdon, the Capitals looked like the second best team for the first few minutes of the game, with Braehead controlling possession early. This continued the Capitals’ tendencies to get off to slow starts, however they were able to grow into the game eventually.
The Capitals were able to generate pressure and shots on goal in the middle of the period, but could not find a finish as play opened up and the action flowed from end to end.
A major event in the period saw Braehead’s Craig Cescon scrum with Callum Boyd, resulting in a roughing penalty.
The best chance of the power play saw Alexander Islamov shoot from in close, but his shot was saved by Braehead goalie Ryan Nie. Killing the penalty gave Braehead a boost, and they were able to score 14:34 into the period on Brendan Brooks’ shot which beat Capitals goalie Pavel Shegalo glove side. Islamov then had another golden chance to score but was denied by Nie, who made a great save to preserve the lead for the visitors.
Late in the period, Braehead caught the Capitals short-sighted and entered a two on one rush, in which Braehead’s Brooks slid a pass to Tyler Scofield who beat an outstretched Shegalo blocker side.
The period ended with some pushing and shoving, as Braehead appeared to be agitated by Boyd. A penalty was assessed to Braehead as the period expired, and the Capitals would go into the locker room down 2-0, but on a power play.
The Capitals were unable to convert on their opening power play, and only registered one shot on goal during their advantage. After the penalty expired, Braehead were able to establish a period of dominance, allowed due to poor defensive positioning and awareness from the Capitals, leading to a Braehead power play after Jay King tripped a man going to the net.
The Capitals were able to kill the powerplay off, and defenceman Rihards Grigors looked particularly strong on the kill, proving to be the best defenceman for the Capitals through two periods.
Midway through the period, Dillon Lawrence broke in on goal one on one against Nie who rushed out of his crease, colliding with Lawrence and leaving an empty net which Tvrdon could not put the puck into.
Shortly afterwards, Braehead’s Landon Oslanski received a penalty for interference, and the Capitals went to their third power play of the game.
Setting up in Braehead’s zone through Vorobyev’s entry, Igor Valeyev found lurking defenceman Denis Trakhanov with a wonderful cross-ice pass, and Trakhanov fired a shot into the top right corner of the net to cut the lead to 2-1. Then, just 30 seconds later, on the rush Cazzola found Vorobyev with an accurate cross-ice pass, who then dropped the puck to Tvrdon who beat Nie to level the score at 2-2.
After a number of nice saves made by Shegalo, he was beaten off a quick faceoff shot by Brooks for his second goal of the game.
Braehead would score a second on a rebound which was not controlled by Shegalo and was put in by Cameron Burt. The Capitals defence fell flat on this sequence, and their poor awareness was exposed. Braehead would take another penalty late, but it was killed off.
The Capitals started off the third period strong, making multiple attempts to catch Braehead off guard, but they could not make their early pressure pay off.
After the early onslaught, Braehead put pressure of their own on the Capitals, and scored off a pass from behind the net which Scofield put into the net.
The majority of the period was spent in the Capitals’ zone, with short bursts and breakouts which were quickly snuffed out by Braehead. The Capitals went to the powerplay with 2:47 remaining in the third, and generated a few good scoring chances from in close but could not finish. The power play ended early after Islamov tripped a Braehead forward about to break away.
Shegalo made a number of nice saves during the period after the goal, however a five goal against night cannot be counted as effective.
Shegalo ended up stopping 26 of 31 shots. The man of the match was Braehead’s Scofield with a two goal night to bring his points total to nine on the year.
The Capitals will look to rebound when they play Guildford Flames, away from Murrayfield, on the 11 November.
Image Courtesy of Edinburgh Capitals