- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tomas Vokoun didn’t really know what else to say. Four goals on 21 shots, including two soft ones that played a major part in the Washington Capitals’ 5-1 loss Tuesday night to the Philadelphia Flyers.

“It was terrible performance. Certainly not pleasant and it’s unfortunate in a game like that,” he said. “It was a bad performance by me.”

Vokoun allowed one harmless shot from Scott Hartnell to sneak through his pads late in the first period, then gave up a couple of tipped goals before seeing an uncontested shot from Max Talbot go under his arm, off the post and in.

The tips are hard to blame Vokoun for — one off Mathieu Perreault’s stick and another off Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds’.

“But still — you got to make the saves. There’s no excuses,” Vokoun said. “It was a bad game. I didn’t help the team at all, and that’s my job.”

Vokoun’s teammates and coach Dale Hunter understood this wasn’t his night but didn’t go too far trashing his performance.

“We all know he would like a couple back. He knows it and everybody knows it,” Hunter said. “It’s one of them games for Tomas that some nights you’re not where you want to be.”

The first goal Vokoun allowed appeared to be deflating to the Caps, especially as they were coming off an unsuccessful power play that featured a couple quality chances.

“It happens. It happens to your goalies. They play great and make saves they shouldn’t. And if he said it was a soft one that went in, that shouldn’t factor in to much on the bench,” veteran right wing Mike Knuble said. “You should just kind of look through it and keep moving forward and keep sticking with your game plan.”

The Caps struggled with that game plan in most facets of the game, but Vokoun allowing another soft goal later made the deficit four and likely ended any chance of a comeback.

“You don’t blame it on the goalie; you don’t say anything like that,” Knuble said. “You do better the next time.”


• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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