The Washington Times - March 3, 2009, 10:43PM

Well that was pretty pathetic.

The Capitals were no shows on home ice for the second straight game, getting hammered by Carolina 5-2 tonight at the Phone Booth.


Carolina scored five times on its first 18 shots.

Carolina scored two short-handed goals less than four minutes apart.

Carolina had four players with at least two points and Cam Ward turned away 39 shots.

It’s gut check time for the Capitals and depending on your view, it either comes at the best or worst time – Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline.

Clearly, the Capitals can’t stand pat and the buzz is such that I don’t expect them to. Personally, I would make the mega deal to get somebody like Chris Pronger to solidify the defense even it means giving up Alexander Semin. But chances are, role players will be the additions.

Some game leftovers:

*Defenseman Tom Poti was a late scratch because of a groin injury but that obviously means he’s on the trade block. Another blue liner, Phoenix’s Derek Morris, has been linked in talks with the Capitals, Philadelphia and Boston.

*Nicklas Backstrom’s point streak ended at 10 games.

*The Capitals failed to score in the first period for the first time in 16 games.

*More shots don’t equal victory. The Capitals’ 41 shots was the ninth time they’ve eclipsed 40 – they’re 4-5 in those games.

*Brooks Laich on facing teams like Carolina and Florida: “The other teams we’re playing are still NHL teams fighting for their lives and are on the bubble. We know how desperate you can be in that situation. But there are no excuses. We have to look at each other. I didn’t do my job and make sure tomorrow I’m better and be prepared for Thursday’s game.”

*Bruce Boudreau doesn’t sound like he’s inclined to bench some of his front-line players because of individual mistakes. “There were a lot of individuals making a lot of mistakes and short of sitting them out and I don’t know if we’re at that stage yet, it’s bringing them in, showing them and maybe talking to them in front of the players because in the end, your best players have to be your best players. I thought Semin played very well tonight but our group that are supposedly our best players wasn’t very good.”

*ROH is signing off. The birthday boy himself, Corey Masisak, is back on the beat tomorrow for what could be a wild day.