Sunday, March 7, 2010

Same "Auld" Rangers

We outshot the Capitals. We outplayed them at even strength. We neutralized Ovechkin. But, despite the return of Gaborik we were shut out and lost 2-0 to Washington.

Another tough loss – with no points – against a very good team. And we're running out of hockey season. Here is how it happened:

The Goalies: It was the right move and a great move starting Auld in goal. Lundqvist had just faced 55 shots on Thursday and clearly needed the rest. And Auld played well. He was aggressive and in command in goal. He stopped 26 of 28 shots – with one of the two goals coming in a 5 on 3. When your goalie's save percentage is .929% - especially against a high scoring team like the Capitals – you can't blame the loss on him. And remember - last time we faced Ovechkin and company Henrik Lundqvist let up 6 goals.

Theodore was a perfect 30 for 30 in saves. You just can't win if you can't score on the guy.

Special Teams: We let in the 5 on 3 goal, but that was our only lapse in 4 shorthanded tries. Out own powerplay was 0-2. So we lost here – and that was enough to lose us the game.

And with no goals – there's nothing much else to talk about.

In Conclusion: We played hard. We just couldn't score. We launched 30 shots at Theodore – but he was much better than usual and we couldn't solve him. It's a night with no points – and we're running out of chances to catch the top 8.
Next Up: We play again right away – tonight against the Buffalo Sabres with Olympic Hockey MVP Ryan Miller. Expect Lundqvist back in net. If we couldn't score on Theodore – we'll have to do a lot better to score on Miller.

Where We Stand: 10th place – out of the playoff mix – with 17 games left to make a move.

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