With the hoopla of the Winter Classic behind them, the Washington Capitals returned to the Verizon Center to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning for the third time of the 2010-11 NHL season. Despite a sluggish start (registering just 5 shots on goal during the 1st period), the Caps were able to get back on track in the second, but were unable to beat Dwayne Roloson in his Bolts debut. Semyon Varlamov was equally as stellar, until kicking a Vincent Lecavalier shot directly to Martin St. Louis who nutmegged Caps d-man Tom Poti en route to the game winner.
- Was it just me, or did Varlamov's groin look good. Get yer mind outta the gutters, you know I mean that he's playing excellent now that he's healthy.
- Never thought I'd see the day when the Capitals PK would be what kept this team afloat, but after going 29-for-30 in their last 7 games they sit 3rd in the NHL at a 85.5% success rate.
- Another great game by John Carlson and Karl Alzner.The Bad:
- The Capitals power play is now 5-for-50. I'm no coach, but me thinks it's time to try something new.
- Paging Alex Semin. Anyone seen Mr. Semin? Maybe he's been cast as the Russian spy still in hiding.
- Halfway through the second period, Steve Downie and Matt Hendricks engaged in a fight in which Downie's only defense was turning Hendy into the Headless Horseman reincarnate after pulling his sweater over his face. Cowardly move Steve, and you still lost.
- Roloson's mask. Seriously people, this is a professional sporting franchise of the National Hockey League and they couldn't cover up the Islanders logo on his dome? I'm not asking for an entire new lid, but what about a blank mask until he's delivered a new one. Or a sticker? Spray paint? Tape? Barry Melrose's mullet? Anything, really.
Although the Bolts now have sole possession of the Southeast Division by 1 measly point, they continue their 4-game road swing visiting Pittsburgh, Ottawa and New Jersey before facing Washington again in exactly 1 week. Look for a regenerated DC team to fight hard to regain top billing in the SE (and possibly a Downie-Hendricks rematch).