- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Capitals lament collapse against Predators
Players, Boudreau at loss to explain how lead and game got away
Question of the Day
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A quick wrist shot by Troy Brouwer into the upper-left corner of the net ended the torture.
For over 55 minutes, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne tortured the Capitals by turning aside everything — whether he saw it or not. This should’ve been it, a victory earned by stellar goaltending and timely offense.
It wasn’t. Just 28 seconds later, the score was tied again — when the Caps stopped skating.
“From winning to losing. From putting ourselves in an unbelievable spot to win a hockey game to scrambling,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “And even though the game was tied, you lose the momentum like that, you feel like you’re behind.”
It only took a few more minutes for the Caps to actually be behind, with another defensive breakdown paving the way for a 3-1 loss on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Counting a shootout defeat to the Devils, it’s the Caps’ fourth loss in five games and sixth in their past nine.
The Caps, almost to a man, were at a loss to explain how they let this one slip away.
“This is a tough one to take,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I thought for 56 minutes, we played as good as we can play. We scored the goal and in the last two periods we totally, I thought, dominated, and then we scored the goal to take the lead and we stopped playing. What are you going to say?”
Boudreau did say that the Caps stopped skating on the goal that cost them the lead. Players wondered if the play was offside as Ryan Suter carried the puck over the blue line. While the Caps pulled up and at least hesitated, Shea Weber streaked down the wing and eventually fed the puck to Martin Erat for the equalizer.
“I think all the guys on the ice thought it was offside, so they stopped playing,” Boudreau said. “And [the Predators] didn’t stop playing. That’s why you have to play to the whistle. Just looking at the replay, guys were putting up their hands and they stopped skating, and they kept coming. That’s why it looked so easy.”
That was just the start of what turned out to be shocking late-game collapse. With under a minute left, a strong forecheck by Colin Wilson helped expose the Caps’ defense. John Erskine followed the Nashville forward into the corner and lost his stick; in the meantime Dennis Wideman and a backchecking Jason Chimera failed to pick up Erat — or anyone.
When the puck made it back to Erat at the side of the net, Tomas Vokoun had to turn and face him; Wilson made it to the net past four Caps players unabated to put the puck in with just 24.3 seconds left.
“I even don’t know what really happened on the second goal, why the guy was all alone in front of the net. There was actually two guys — the guy who make that deke and went behind the net was by himself for a second,” Vokoun said. “It was basically one against four of our guys coming into the zone. We can’t blame anybody but ourselves. We basically give them the win.”
Added Erat: “I don’t know what the defense was doing there, and Willy gave me a great puck down low, and I was by myself in front of the net. Willy was coming he was almost two-on-none; I don’t know what happened there, it was just probably their mistake on the defense.”
It was a costly series of mistakes in the final minutes that wasted what was an excellent defensive effort that included 28 saves by Vokoun.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don't prematurely delist endangered wolves
- Fast-food protests spur backlash
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!