Offense sells tickets. Caps have 11 straight sellouts.
Defense wins championships. Caps take 6 minor penalties to the Panthers 2, reflecting the final. Panthers 6 Caps 2.
1st period summary: Caps take 3 penalties, Panthers score 3 PPG. Ouch. Remember that Boston post the other night? I detailed the PK troubles, and how if the Caps stayed off the PK, there was a chance for a regulation win? Caps give up a PPG inside 5 minutes left in the 3rd to allow Boston to steal an OT point. Caps stole one with a Semin floater on Saturday. Not so lucky on Sunday.
I still like Neuvirth in net. Kid seems pretty sound technically. Have to like how the team is built in net with Varlamov and Neuvirth. Both net minders have looked very solid at the NHL level, both are VERY young, both play a different style of goal and both seem to be ready for duty. Also a great thing is that neither were drafted before the 20th overall pick, kudos to GMGM and the scouts on that one.
I'll leave this one on a high note. The ONLY good thing about today's loss is that giving the Panthers 2 more points makes it that much harder for the Penguins to get into the playoffs. Who would have thought after last year that we would be saying that this late in the season? While Pittsburgh enters Monday sitting in the 8th spot, remember that Buffalo is behind by 1 point and has a game in hand. Carolina is 1 point back with no games in hand but they do meet with Pittsburgh in Carolina on Saturday April 4th. Canes and Pens have Friday April 3rd off, but Pittsburgh will be in Florida the next night, Sunday April 5th, and the Panthers will be sitting waiting with Saturday April 4th off and will have been at home since Sunday March 29th. Carolina also sees the Capitals 3 times in March, so the Penguins will be doing some indirect cheering.