“We played a good 40 minutes, but we needed 60 tonight,” said Mike Green after the Washington Capitals fell 5-4 in overtime to the New Jersey Devils. “We were successful in the second period, and we had to keep that going in the third.”
The Capitals scored three goals in the second period, and entered the third period with a 3-1 lead. After giving up three goals in six minutes to the Devils, the Capitals were lucky to escape with an extra point. Andy Greene scored the game-winner for New Jersey in overtime, which was assisted by former Capital Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr had a three-point night, scoring a goal and assisting on Marek Zidlicky’s goal in the first period and Greene’s game-winner.
“We played pretty good hockey in the third period for whatever reason,”said Jagr. “We tied it late yesterday against a very good team, and today we go down two goals against a very good team, and we always try to find an extra gear in the third period. So far it’s working for us.”
“I would like to have some easy games too,” he quipped.
Allowing a team to come back from a two-goal deficit twice in one game is a testament to just how unstable the Capitals can be, even when their best player, Alex Ovechkin (who scored his 30th goal tonight) is playing at his best.
When they get stellar goaltending, they can scrape wins out of games they shouldn’t be winning. But when the goaltending isn’t near-perfect, the defense has to pick up the slack. More often than not lately, the defense hasn’t been up to the task.
“They worked hard down low on us, and it’s a matter of staying tight,” said Green. ”We kind of let them slip behind us and get some unnecessary goals.”
Allowing goals in quick succession is another disturbing trend for this year’s Washington Capitals. After Jagr’s power play goal, Ovechkin answered. One minute and fifteen seconds later, Marek Zidlicky scored his second of the game, cutting his team’s deficit to one goal.
“Unfortunately, it’s the same cliché…we talk about it; I’m talking to the line as they go out on the ice,” said Adam Oates. “You’ve got to execute and get up behind them and keep the ball rolling, and sometimes we do a better job than others.”
“Tonight, obviously we didn’t.”