The Capitals fell to the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Friday night at Verizon Center. The Caps were down 2-0 before the team was able to muster a rally and send the game into overtime.
Both teams were playing in their second game in as many nights. The Capitals (11-4-1) beat the Flyers, 5-2 Thursday night in Philadelphia. The Flames (6-11-1) fell to the Lightning, 3-1 in Tampa. This was the Capitals 3rd game in four days.
Brooks Orpik was once again scratched from tonight’s game with a lower body injury. Chandler Stephenson and Chris Brown were reassigned to Hershey earlier in the day. Philipp Grubauer got the start in net for the Capitals. The Flames went with Karri Ramo. The starting lines for the Capitals:
This version of the Flames team was much more in sync then the previous contest held in Calgary three weeks ago. It seemed the Flames had the better legs through a majority of this contest (considering both teams played the night before). However scoring chances were about equal. The Caps stepped up and dominated the final 13 minutes of play, scoring two goals and getting them back into the game. Michael Latta had a good all-around game, including scoring his first career goal on home ice. Complete game stats are provided here and here. Caps game notes and interviews here:
The Caps started well with significant time spent in the Flames zone. The Flames had three odd-man break-always, but no damage. The Capitals were whistled for the games’ first penalty, a delay of game call on John Carlson at 7:16 of the opening frame. The Flames generated decent pressure but managed only one SOG. Calgary was out-shooting the Caps 6-1 at the mid-way point of the first period. The Caps picked up the pace late in the period, getting several rebound chances at close range. The period would end scoreless. Calgary led in SOG 11-9.
The Caps continued to step up the pressure at the start of the second stanza, however Philipp Grubauer had to make several nice stops to keep the game scoreless. The Flames would finally open the scoring at the 7:35 mark on a nice feed from Sam Bennett to Michael Frolik, who punched it past Grubauer with a close-range wrister.
This would be the seventh straight game in which the Capitals gave up the first goal of the game. The Capitals would get their first power play at the 14:10 mark when the Flames Mark Giordano was called for interference. Unfortunately T.J. Oshie was called for tripping just 12 seconds into the Caps power play, nullifying the Caps man advantage. The period would end with the Flames leading 1-0. Calgary led in SOG 20-19.
Sean Monohan would stretch the Flames lead to 2-0 on a wrister from the point at the 1:32 mark of the third period.
The Capitals would go on the power play at the 2:28 mark, but this power play effort would resemble many of those in recent games, with little pressure and no productivity. This power play effort would bring out the ‘boo birds’ at Verizon. Finally, Michael Latta would get the Caps on the board at the 5:41 mark on a close-range, 5-hole shot, narrowing the Flames lead to 2-1. This was Latta’s first goal on Verizon Center ice.
The Caps amped up the offensive zone pressure immediately following the Latta goal and carried it through the last half of the third period. Jay Beagle would tie the game with 4:48 left in the game.
Trotz would start with Nicklas Backstrom, Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen. The Flames Sean Monohan would bury the puck in the net to win it for the Flames, 3-2.