Washington Capitals fall short in loss to Flames in Calgary

The Capitals could not make it four wins in a row as they ran into a hot goaltender in Calgary. Photo: Photo: Larry MacDougal, AP

CALGARY, October 27, 2013 — The Capitals have hit a slight detour on their Canadian road trip. The Caps fell behind early (pulled Holtby), closed the deficit to one, only to see the Flames pull away in the third period as the Caps lost to the Flames, 5-2. 

The Calgary Flames got off to a quick start by scoring very early in the game on an even strength goal. Then with 17:24 left in the first, the Caps gave Calgary their first power play, preventing a would-be breakaway chance by tripping the Calgary skater. Holtby played well thoughout that power play as he stopped a laser slap shot, fell on his backside, and deflected away the puck from his back. Then, seconds later, Holtby somehow swiped a point blank chance away from the Flames averting disaster again, this time while doing the splits.


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It was all for not though because the Flames’ second goal scored was more of bad bounce of the puck. It looked like Mike Green would be able to snag the puck out of the goal mouth but Holtby’s leg got tangled with Green’s reaching stick and the puck went into the net, making the score 2-0 midway through the first period. Not long after Calgary’s second goal, the Caps had their first power play. Ovechkin did not get a clean look until 30 seconds were left in the man-advantage. 

After the Caps’ blown power play, Jason Chimera scored on a sick back hand goal with 7:55 left in the first period. It cut the Flames’ lead to one. The unsung hero on that play was Eric Fehr. Fehr absolutely picked the pocket of the Calgary defenseman, spun around and ran a two on one break. Jason Chimera took over from there as he juked the goalie, then backhanded the puck into an open net as the goalie could only watch from the left side of the goal. 

The Caps could not seem to get any momentum on Saturday night. Less than a minute after Chimer’s goal, the Flames sent another puck into the net from the blue line. The puck bounced off Holtby’s blocker and that was all she wrote. The Flames scored, Holtby was pulled for Michael Neuverth, and the score was 3-1 just like that. Holtby had some flashes of brilliance but two flukey bounces for goals was enough for Adam Oates to see as he pulled the young goaltender. Holtby probably needed a rest as the Caps reach the midway point of this long road trip. 

Washington kept fighting and plugging away in the second period. With 12:13 left in the second period, Aaron Volpatti (Johnny on the spot) one-timed a rebound off the goalie’s blocker and into the net. Volpatti was simply hanging out, standing right in front of the net as the puck bounced directly at him. That goal cut the deficit to one, at 3-2.  


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It seemed like the Caps were going to catch the Flames in the third period. Early in the third, there was a slick defensive play made by John Erskine of the Caps. He reached his stick through a Calgary player’s legs during a wide open breakaway for the Flames. Somehow, he tipped away the puck and shot it up ice; out of harms way. Those types of defensive pokes rarely come away with the puck when skating directly behind the offensive skater. This time, it worked, and the Caps kept it a one goal lead. Flames’ goalie Karri Ramo made some incredible saves as the Flames never let go of their lead.

The Caps had some pucks trickle near the goal mouth but it just was not their night and they just could not tie the game. Once Calgary scored their fourth goal, the Capitals pretty much packed it in and it was over. The Flames added another goal in the third, making it 5-2 for the final score. The Caps’ next game is Monday night against Vancouver. 


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John Heibel

 

Born in Southern Maryland, 34 years old, John Heibel grew up a Washington DC  sports fan, playing pretty much all sports. Heibel served in the US Coast Guard for 7 years and has two bachelors degrees.
The writer currently lives in Kensington, MD covering all DC Sports for Communities.

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