Dennis Wideman made a couple mistakes Tuesday night, and they led to Carolina Hurricanes goals. He whiffed at an attempt to keep the puck in the Washington Capitals’ offensive zone, opening up room for Brandon Sutter’s breakaway, then was on the wrong side of a puck battle along the boards, allowing for a two-on-one in overtimes.
But as he always does, especially after losses, Wideman stepped up afterward and shouldered the blame.
“That was just a bad read,” Wideman said of the whiff. “Those are the plays that cost you playoff series, that don’t let you get into the playoffs. Just a bad play.”
Coach Dale Hunter agreed.
“Well, you can’t take chances like that,” he said. “It’s a bouncing puck. You have to back out.”
Wideman and the Caps walk a tightrope of risk and reward. They’re so effective when holding the lead because it’s automatic to take the safe approach.
It was 2-2 at the time in this one when the puck bounced to Wideman and over his stick.
“In a tie hockey game that’s probably maybe a 50 percent play,” the defenseman said. “It’s just stupid.”
In overtime, Marcus Johansson lost what was essentially a 50-50 puck battle along the boards and Wideman got caught up on the wrong side of the puck.
“He should have stopped and waited,” Hunter said. “The puck was jammed on the boards and they got an odd-man rush from it.”
The Caps have been trying to cut down on odd-man rushes, but that problem killed them again Tuesday.