Caps need Ovechkin to have a shot

Caps need Ovechkin to have a shot
May 8, 2012, 2:12 pm
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Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals try to sort through the wreckage of Monday nights meltdown in Manhattan, where the Capitals saw a 2-1 lead with 6.6 seconds remaining in regulation turn into a 3-2 loss to the Rangers in overtime:

Waiting for Ovi: Alex Ovechkin took 25 shifts and played 19:08 but failed to record a shot in a playoff game for the first time since April 15, 2010 in Game 1 of a first-round series against the Canadiens. Ovechkin had gone 26 straight playoff games with at least one shot on goal.

Ovechkin recorded one assist and registered just two attempts at the net in Game 5. One missed and the other was blocked. He also delivered three hits, committed one turnover and blocked two shots.

Its not over yet, said Ovechkin, who leads the Caps in goals 4 and points 8 through 12 playoff games. Somebody had to win and somebody had to lose. Unfortunately, it was so close to victory, but not close enough.

Thisclose: Eleven of the Capitals 12 playoff games have been decided by one goal and six have been decided in overtime. Nine of their 12 playoff games have been tied after two periods and they are 3-6 in those games. Nine of the Rangers 12 playoff games have been one-goal games and four have been decided in OT.

On the bright side: The Capitals have not lost consecutive games since March 22 and 23. They are 5-0 following losses in the playoffs and 3-0 following overtime losses. Rookie goaltender Braden Holtby has gone 28 straight starts in the NHL without losing consecutive games.

Stand-up guy: In a classic example of bad things happening to good people, Joel Ward took full responsibility for Monday nights loss, calling his four-minute high-sticking penalty on Carl Hagelin terrible.

While many professional athletes in similar situations would have ducked the media, Ward sat at his locker stall and accepted the blame for the loss.

Were a few seconds from winning and it turns into an overtime loss just like that, he said. Its a little mentally disturbing when youre in that position and let the team down.

Trending down, staying up: The Capitals were outshot 38-18, outhit 29-14 and lost 57 percent of their faceoffs in Game 5 but many players were satisfied with the effort.

We know we should have won that game, so we have a good feeling in this room, defenseman Karl Alzner said. Its not like we got beat 5-0. Its something we should have put away.

Home performance: The Capitals are 2-3 at the Verizon Center during the playoffs. They are 1-0 in elimination games this spring, winning Game 7 in Boston after gaining a 3-2 series lead.

Game of inches: Nicklas Backstrom recorded just one shot, a breakaway attempt with about eight minutes remaining in regulation that went off Henrik Lundqvists arm and hit the crossbar. He also lost seven of 10 faceoffs.

Screen door: Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby said he saw nothing but white and blue jerseys on Marc Staals game-winning shot, which appeared to deflect off both Brooks Laich and Matt Hendricks, who fell after his faceoff loss to John Mitchell and was late confronting Staal at the point.

I didnt see a thing, Holtby said. Whether it had a lane or not Ill have to look at the video to see if I could have done a better job seeing around the traffic. Thats what happens when we play a style where we block a lot of shots. Sometimes they go in and it just happened to be in overtime.