Last night, the Washington Capitals were searching for answers to a frustrating 0-3 start, as they paid a visit to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Head coach Adam Oates returned to New Jersey where he previously worked as an assistant coach for the last two seasons. There you had it: several solid reasons to want to find the win column, for the first time in this shortened 48 game season.
After dropping a 4-1 decision in front of 18,506 at the Verizon Center on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens and hearing the boo birds on numerous occasions, Capitals players voiced their concerns following the action and prior to leaving for Newark.
“I think we just need to get one win under our belt and get rolling,” Capitals forward Wojtek Wolski said. “Obviously we are frustrated and yeah we are concerned, but it’s nothing like hitting the panic button where we think we can’t come out of it. We’ve got the skill and we just need to put a full game together.”
Taking a look at last nights action, the Capitals quickly turned the page from the previous nights under performance at home, by battling hard and showing some type of urgency in their game. Down 2-0 with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest, Caps forward Mike Ribeiro found the back of the net for his first goal of the season and as a member of the Washington Capitals. Forward Joel Ward and defenseman Mike Green had the helpers on the power play goal coming at 12:45 in the 3rd period.
Several minutes later and with just under three minutes remaining in the game, defenseman Mike Green scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at two goals a piece. Green’s goal was unassisted at 17:04 in the 3rd and final frame.
It was an overtime goal by Devils Left wing Ilya Kovalchuk though, that once again, kept the Capitals from obtaining two points.
“We hung in there,” said Adam Oates. We did our job, everybody worked hard for 60 minutes and we played a much, much better hockey game.
Capitals netminder Michal Neuvirth turned aside 32 shots on goal against NJ and spoke to the media after the game about the difficult nature of the game itself, in what was his second start in back to back nights.
“It wasn’t easy game, you know. I didn’t have a lot of work in the first period, Neuvirth said. “The only good scoring chance they had they scored, but I battled hard and after I made a couple of big saves I settled down and played my game.”
Capitals News and Notes
- The Capitals practiced at noon today at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, before taking on the Buffalo Sabres in a 3pm game tomorrow at the Verizon Center.
- Forward Eric Fehr made his season debut last night in New Jersey and a welcomed return to the Capitals lineup.
- The Hershey Bears (Washington’s AHL affiliate) were defeated 3-1 last night by the St. John’s IceCaps and are now 20-19-2 on the season.
Darren is the Washington Capitals correspondent. He spent the 2010-11 season covering the Atlanta Thrashers and the 2011-12 season covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Feel free to contact him @ DKoz256@yahoo.com. You can also follow him on Twitter. DarrenCoslov