VANCOUVER, October 28, 2013 — The Capitals battled all night, but just could not hold onto their third period lead. The Caps lost a close one, 3-2, in front of a loud Vancouver crowd. Michal Neuvirth minded the net last night and played well despite the loss.
The first period got off to the usual sluggish start for the Capitals. However, the biggest issue facing Washington last night was not a slow start, but rather poor puck handling and turnovers. Mike Green and Steve Oleksy gave up costly turnovers throughout the game. The Capitals defensemen did a poor job clearing the goal area for Neuvirth as the game tying and winning goals for Vancouver came off Canuck rebounds and congestion in front of the net.
The game winning goal by Daniel Sedin in the third period was simply a case of Neuvirth being screened by a Vancouver player. Neuvy could not see anything, let alone the puck, as the shot screamed by him and into the net. This was the Canucks’ fourth straight win coming off a long road trip. Vancouver has quickly adapted to John Tortorella’s coaching style. They scrapped and out-hit the Capitals all night.
The Capitals had some bright moments and certainly did not back down to the Canucks. In the third period, Jason Chimera made the assist of the year, so far, as he spun around two defenders and passed the puck while on his stomach, falling down, to a wide open Mikhail Grabovski cutting across the ice. Grabovski finished off the awesome assist with a top shelf goal under the cross bar; lighting the lap for a 2-1 lead. Chimera had a goal of his own, his third straight game with a goal, and things were looking good early in the third period.
That was as good as it got because Vancouver dominated the rest of the third period.
The Capitals will try to break this two game losing streak as they face the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. The Flyers are in last place in the Metropolitan Division with only six points. The Caps (5-7-0) are six points behind Pittsburgh, who hold the top spot in the Metro division.
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