Friday, October 17, 2008

Caps scratch past Pens as injuries mount

Even the great Harry Houdini wouldn't have found his way out of the mess the Washington Capitals found themselves in last night.

Washington, who was in Pittsburgh to face the rivaled Pens, fell flat on their face early on as Pittsburgh took a commanding 3-0 lead early in the second period. Adam Gologoski, Evgeny Malkin and Petr Sykora all scored on the power play for the Pens who looked as though they were going to continue their domination of the series.

The Caps, however, had different ideas and stormed back to score four unanswered goals by Fleischmann, Semin, Nylander and Gordon. Jose Theodore had another rough start but finished strong stopping 23 shots in the 4-3 final.

Washington's penalty kill was "off" to say the least last night with only a 50% succession rate (3-6). So far this year they are 17-24 (70.8%) which puts them 25th in the league. They will have to be more successful on specialty teams in order to live up to their projections this season.

Adding to the bad news, the Capials lost defenseman Tom Poti early in the first period with what is being diagnosed as a groin injury. It is unclear how long he will be out of the line-up.

Poti now joins the likes of Viktor Kozlov and Donald Brashear who are also out with injuries. Brashear's status for tomorrow night in New Jersey has yet to be determined, while Kozlov is diagnosed as "week-to-week".

Washington called up winger Chris Bourque earlier today, meaning that Sergei Fedorov will be playing defense for their next match-up, while Bourque will fill in for Fedorov up front.

Brent Johnson will get the start in Saturday's game as coach Bruce Boudreau continues to flip between his two netminders.

So far the Capitals have looked the the cat with nine lives. Just when you think they can't possibly come back, the do; in stunning fashion. The question now becomes how long until they run out of magic in their bag of tricks?

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