(Photo credit: Bill Wippert/Getty Images)
On “Hockey Day In America,” it was only fitting for the team representing the “Nation’s Capital” to play a game in what essentially is Canada. Regardless, the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres met in what was the Caps’ third straight weekend matinee game. We know that the Capitals have no problem waking up for their next opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins, but an intriguing storyline headed into Sunday’s matchup was whether or not they would wake up for a game with Eastern Conference implications. It wasn’t exactly a jolt of caffeine, but the Caps were coherent enough to hold on for a 2-1 victory.
- Mathieu Perreault and Marcus Johansson combined for half of Washington’s points and both goals Sunday. Perhaps, subconsciously, they are both trying to prove that they are what the Caps need at 2C. Short answer: yes, with an “if.” Long answer: no, with a “but.” Yet, both MP85 and MJ90 figured out how to solve Ryan Miller, capitalizing off of bad bounces and rebounds. There were a ton of scouts at the game, so if anything, someone boosted their trade value today.
- Despite the game-winning goal coming on the power play, it still doesn’t look great. The Caps wasted a big 5-on-3 opportunity in the first period and fired too many easy shots for Miller to save. As stated above, it takes some “trickeration” to beat Miller. To his credit, Miller made some fantastic saves, but the shot selection was not the greatest. There’s always room for improvement.
- Speaking of shots, the Caps had 39 shots on goal and missed almost as many, finishing with 37 missed shots. Maybe part of the scoring problem is the fact that they can’t get shots on the goal. Just sayin’.
The Capitals have just one more road game left on this trip and will attempt to return to Washington with an over-.500 record Monday against the Penguins. Until then, McDonald’s is the sponsor of today’s celebration, so what better way to celebrate than with some Big Macs?