by: Logan Quick
The ” Game of the year” didnt go as planned for the Caps, as they dropped a brutal and critical 5-1 loss on home ice to the Buffalo Sabres who were led by Ryan Miller (44 saves)and Drew Stafford ( 2 goals). The Sabres took the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference from the Capitals, who now sit in 9th place and now 2 points behind Buffalo for 8th and 4 points behind Ottawa for 7th place, while still being 5 points behind Florida in the division. Its time to play catch-up, Caps.
Things went from bad to worse from the start for the Caps tonight. Buffalo out hustled and just outplayed the Caps tonight. The Caps had some nice scoring opportunities, especially early in the game, but just could not find the back of the net to save their lives. The Caps found themselves down 2-0 after the 1st period after Cody McCormick scored his 1st goal of the year and Drew Stafford beat the D and Braden Holtby to a loose puck in the crease. Then Buffalo extended the lead to 3-0 after Thomas Vanek scored his 25th goal of the year early in the 2nd ( Which got Holtby benched in favor of Michal Neuvirth). Following that, the Caps had a small glimmer of hope of getting back into the game after Alex Semin scored his 19th goal of the year, only to have Jason Pominville score a shorty to push the Sabres lead back to 3 with 2:28 left in the 2nd period. Drew Stafford added his 2nd goal of the night in the 3rd period to push the Sabres lead to 5-1, and at that point I turned the game off.
The Capitals are defiantly not out of the playoff picture with 5 games left in the regular season, but this loss did sting, and everybody knows this is not the time you can be losing home games 5-1. We have to play catch-up in the standings now, do or die, and that means bringing intensity and going all out for 60 minutes a game for the final 5 games. This loss should really put a huge chip on our shoulder, and I think we will respond well to that. I’m still very confident that we will get into the playoffs, and getting Nick Backstrom back, as early as this week, is huge for the Caps and our playoff push. Only a few Centers in the NHL can do what Backstrom does.
The Caps travel to TD Garden to play the Boston Bruins on Thursday. The last time these teams played each other was on March 10th, with the Capitals winning 4-3. the Caps also lead the season series 2-1.
Thats it for now Caps fans, check Bmoredcsports tomorrow for a new article.