Well, that will probably be remembered as one of the more gut-wrenching losses of the season for the Washington Capitals. It appeared this one was headed for overtime, but the puck got lost between Milan Jurcina’s skates and much to his chagrin, Sergei Kostitsyn found it and put it past Brent Johnson with 21.2 seconds left.
“I saw it come off [Alzner’s] glove and I don’t know what happened after that,” Jurcina said. “I just tried to spin I think, and the puck was between my legs. I don’t know – I have to see [the tape].”
His coach wasn’t quite as diplomatic about the play.
“He coulda cross-checked [Kostitsyn] – anything,” Bruce Boudreau said. “If you can’t find the puck and the guy is coming at you, just stand there and cross-check him so he doesn’t get the puck.”
It was a tough night for Jurcina, who also took a penalty for throwing the puck over the glass. I don’t think I’ve seen that before — and I’m surprised he only got two minutes. He got two for closing his hand on the puck — but he was in his own zone so he could/should have been assessed two more putting the puck over the glass. Just a weird play all around.
The loss means Boudreau will not represent the Caps as an assistant coach in the all-star game in two weeks in this same building. Montreal’s Guy Carbonneau will instead.
“With 21 seconds to go I thought about it,” Boudreau said. “The first two periods we were focused all on the game. … I know the players tried very hard — everybody on both teams. You could tell by the way they celebrated. Both teams were well aware of what was going to happen for their coaches they had been successful.”
Here are a few more notes/tidbits from a highly entertaining night of hockey:
* Boudreau was pleased with his teams resiliencyin the final period, but not with the way they actually played. This was a pretty up-and-down game, but the goalies were in charge for 40 minutes — not so in the final 20.
“I think it is [a tough loss],” Boudreau said. “We allowed four goals in the third period, and it is just dumb hockey. It is dumb, but we never quit. … All we had to do was get the puck and get it deep, but we lost it at the blue line, we didn’t protect the puck – you can’t win championships like that.”
* Alexander Semin had two goals, and the second one was pretty sick. It was almost a carbon copy of the one he scored against Ottawa last year, except he didn’t fake out a defenseman first — he just harrassed one into coughing up the puck.
* Michael Nylander has four goals this year — two since the fourth game of the season — and both are in this building.
* Somehow Tomas Plekanec only has 20 points this season. I say this because he always stands out against the Caps. His second goal was almost unstoppable — with a great assist from rookie Max Pacioretty.
* Here’s a bit of an oddity: There were nine goals scored in this game — all by Europeans. These are two of the most United Nations-friendly teams in the league, but I bet that doesn’t happen often.
* Boudreau thought things started to unravel a bit at the beginning of the third period thanks to the penalties on Nicklas Backstrom and Tlyer Sloan. The Caps took plenty of dumb penalties on this night. Not just Jurcina’s — the too many men was uneccessary and Donald Brashear didn’t need to throw a guy down with his open arm along the boards.
* Alex Ovechkin had eight shots on net and an assist, but Mike Komisarek did a pretty good job on him. It is too bad they will be teammates at the all-star game. Those guys have some pretty epic one-on-one battles with and without the puck. Komisarek was credited with 10 blocked shots. TEN — and most of them were on Ovechkin, who had eight blocked.