- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 5, 2011

It wasn’t Tomas Vokoun’s worst game of the season. But three Charmin-soft goals — by his own admission — were enough for the veteran goaltender to assume blame for the Washington Capitals’ 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night. Vokoun made 30 saves on 34 shots and at times was very solid. But when he wasn’t, it cost the Caps dearly.

“You can’t win when your goalie gives up three bad goals,” Vokoun said. “I didn’t help the guys much, obviously. Those were bad goals. It’s tough, but that’s hockey.”

The Caps were dominating play and up two when Frans Nielsen got his own rebound and beat Vokoun early in the second. Much later in the period, Brian Rolston’s harmless shot squirted through Vokoun’s five-hole.

Dennis Wideman receives more of the blame for Matt Martin’s goal that made it 3-2 in the third as he failed to tie up the Islanders forward in front. But with the score tied again and the clock ticking away toward what certainly looked like overtime, Vokoun erred again. This time it was P.A. Parenteau collecting a loose puck in front off a point shot and tucking it in.

There were other problems, but the 35-year-old explained what went wrong on three of the goals.

“I felt pretty good at the start,” Vokoun said. “The first one I kind of relaxed a little too much. I thought they wouldn’t be able to get the rebound. The second one he hit right exact spot where sometimes you just have this little hole between your legs and when the puck hits it exactly the right way, it goes through. The fourth one was just a bad goal. I should’ve covered that puck or put a rebound in the corner or something.”

Vokoun, at that point, was at a loss for words.

“I can’t say anything more,” he said. “I let the team down today.”

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