Caps stay patient, rally to beat Wild
Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals turn the page on Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild and board a flight today for Phoenix to take on the 11-4-2 Coyotes:
C’mon ref: Both coaches were unhappy with the officiating late in Thursday night’s game. Wild coach Mike Yeo called referee Tim Peel over to the bench and demanded an explanation o why Caps right wing Tom Wilson was not given an interference penalty for setting a pick on defenseman Nate Prosser, who was prevented from getting to Marcus Johansson on his game-tying goal with 3:08 remaining in regulation. Two minutes, 10 seconds later Marty Erat was called for interfering with Matt Cooke on a faceoff, which in the opinion of Oates, happens on almost every draw. A makeup call on the part of Peel, maybe?
Neuvy next? Michal Neuvirth has started just three of the Caps’ first 16 games this season but it seems likely that with back-to-back games in Phoenix and Colorado, he’ll get the call Saturday night against the Coyotes.
Early risers: Because Saturday night’s game is set for 6 p.m. Mountain Time, the Caps will practice Jobing.com Arena at 8:30 on Saturday morning. That’s 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Statistically speaking: The Caps are an incredible 7-0 in shootouts since Oates became head coach last season. …The Capitals went 2 for 3 on the penalty kill and are 41 for 43 in their last 11 games. They remain No. 1 on the power play [28.1 percent] and No. 1 on the pebalty kill [90.3 percent]. The Caps have seven power-play goals in their last four games. The Caps are now 6-2-0 this season when scoring first.
East vs. West: The Caps are now 5-5-0 against teams in the Western Conference. Through the first month of the season the West has a 68-27-11 record against the East. Do the Caps have something to prove on their weekend trip to Phoenix and Colorado? “You always want to send a message to people that you’re for real, especially going into these buildings.”