Saturday, November 13, 2010

Recap: Sabres 3, Capitals 2 (OT)

When Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin get owned as a unit, you know the Capitals were in trouble.

The first period was pretty even, and the Capitals struck first. At one end of the ice--the Sabres' defensive zone for the first and third, below the goal line--Tyler Myers tripped, and while trying to make the clear while falling passed right to Alexander Semin, who looked to pass to Ovechkin. He missed, but Karl Alzner was right there and pumped a shot through traffic to make it 1-0 for Washington.

Then things got ugly.

The Sabres dominated the second period, sparked by some power plays. I noted in my preview that the Capitals needed to be penalty-disciplined--clearly, they weren't. Steve Mondator shot through traffic off the pipe and in, and Thomas Vanek took a carom in front and banged it in for a 2-1 Sabres lead.

In the third, the Sabres really didn't surrender--or, I think, the Capitals didn't create--many chances. Nicklas Backstrom faked a shot to get Ryan Miller to go down and then chipped a controlled shot into the top corner, blocker side. Add that one to the highlight reel.

And that OT goal by Vanek, too.

Man of the match: Braden Holtby was solid for the Capitals and didn't make a mistake as far as I could tell, save one mix-up while playing the puck behind his net. I think Jason Pominville deserves it overall.

Timeonice reports: Corsi/Fenwick, Shift Charts, Zone starts, H2H TOI, Scoring chances (same as below)

Some notes:
  • Only David Steckel and Matt Bradley didn't break 10 mins at 5-on-5.
  • The Caps' 10th forward in terms of 5-on-5 TOI? Tomas Fleischmann. Maybe Bruce Boudreau is wisening up.
  • Somehow, Alex Ovechkin and the Caps finished with positive Corsis and Fenwicks. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, though I'm guessing it's those (mostly) harmless attempts from the outside in the 3rd, when the Sabres did a decent job of locking it down (and the Caps of not playing well). See scoring chances below.
  • Alex Ovechkin isn't playing along the boards or forechecking like a demon. That's why he's still looking not right. If he won't be a winger version of Lindros-Bossy, he at least needs to be a Fedorov or Zetterberg.
  • It looks like Lindy Ruff was trying to get Ennis-Roy-Vanek against Carlznerson/Ovechkin, and it worked pretty well. While those guys were negative Corsis, they were plenty dangerous.
  • Jason Pominville had several great chances. I think he's a great guy to have on your second line, ignoring his cap hit. He for the most part was facing Green-Schultz, who had good games--it was when Pominville-Connolly-Hecht avoided Green-Schultz that the Caps had trouble.
  • Alexander Semin had a bit of an off night. He seemed to be a bit of a freelancer on Nicklas Backstrom's line at times.
  • Hey Caps--no use having a good power play if it's never on the ice. Move your legs and draw penalties.
  • It's too bad John Carlson is going to be on the front page of tomorrow for the wrong reason. Vanek's goal was a beauty, but Carlson needed to play the body there. I'm sure he's learned that now, and better now than in May.
  • Tyler Myers was struggling with Chimera-Johansson-Fehr. Guy is having a tough sophomore season so far. He's also not as physically imposing on TV as I thought he'd be--definitely not like Chara in this game, or even Schultz (this was the first time I saw Myers play).
  • Rob Niedermayer may be a bit past his prime now. He was facing Semin and Backstrom for most of the night and did an only passable job. He's not the great shutdown forward that he used to be.
  • That second period sucked. 
  • Gutsy, clutch PK on the double minor to Backstrom. Last season and the season before that it'd have ended up in the Caps' net in regulation.
  • Wake up, Ovie. And Fehrsie. And Knublie.

To the scoring chances chart, I added ZP, T, and FO designations. ZP means zone possession, T in transition, and FO right after a faceoff. There were several instances of the play quickly turning around because of a defensive zone turnover, so in those cases I judged whether the play was ZP or T based on how long after the turnover the scoring chance came and how many players were back. Stick tap to Scott Reynolds of The Copper and Blue for the idea.

Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20234

WSH118:17T Semin one-timer8192855707434192630635v5
BUF118:53ZP Deflection off Sekera point shot8192852557034192930555v5
WSH118:58ZP GOAL Myers trips, Alzner blast8192852557034192930555v5
BUF19:33T Ennis dangles to slot141625277074926304457635v5
WSH18:28ZP Backstrom to Green across PK formation, one-timer8192128527025272830575v4
BUF17:08T SH Kaleta wrister on 2-on-18141622527020273036575v4
WSH16:29ZP Alzner point shot deflected through lots of traffic10262739707434192030365v5
BUF16:15T Holtby misplays puck102627397074927303436635v5
WSH14:44T Ovechkin breakaway4819287089419293055575v5
WSH12:33T Chimera one-timer on 3-on-21416255255703492630635v5
BUF11:57ZP Pominville off a rotation gets open in circle819285255701927293034555v5
BUF11:50ZP Hecht alone at side of net, misses deflecting it in819285255701927293034555v5
WSH10:50ZP Miller kicks out a rebound straight to Johansson421227089902830363744575v5
BUF219:00T Roy coming in late left alone8192852557034192930555v5
WSH218:03T Fehr 3-on-2 one-timer141625525570926273034555v5
BUF217:30ZP Roy in front141625277074926273057635v5
BUF213:42T PP Connolly left alone tries to deke Hotlby41939708949192629304v5
BUF29:51ZP GOAL Montador long slapshot through traffic48192870893482025305v5
BUF28:36ZP Pominville deflection212252557090319293034555v5
BUF27:05T Sekera joins the rush819272870742026304457635v5
BUF26:02T Hecht backhand on 2-on-110263952557034192930555v5
BUF23:32ZP GOAL PP Vanek rebound1939525570319262930574v5
BUF21:54ZP Pominville gets alone down low421222670891929304455575v5
WSH319:20FO Semin wrister192528525570820253044575v5
WSH314:05T Fehr through traffic on 3-on-216215570749034192930555v5
WSH313:17ZP Green sneaks in and centers to Johansson4822527090926304457635v5
WSH312:54ZP GOAL Backstrom41925287089820252730345v5
BUF312:27T Sabres shank a one-timer10142739707434192930555v5
BUF36:38T Green coughs up puck in neutral, Sabres 3-on-18225255709034192930555v5
BUF33:12T Vanek gets a carom in front192527287074926273034635v5
BUF31:54ZP PP Ennis tries to stuff, lots of players in front2627287074325304455634v5
BUF31:14ZP PP scramble in front2225525570919262930574v5
BUF43:55ZP PP Vanek deflection off post223952709192629303v4
WSH41:45T Green on 3-on-22128525570492030444v4
BUF41:01T GOAL Vanek dances around Carlson and Holtby827707490392630574v4

4J. ERSKINE11:41420:00002:0901
8A. OVECHKIN15:48481:50110:0000
10M. BRADLEY8:02130:10000:3900
14T. FLEISCHMANN10:19230:38010:3900
16E. FEHR13:52320:38010:0000
19N. BACKSTROM14:24571:12103:2102
21B. LAICH13:07320:57103:5300
22M. KNUBLE12:25230:53013:0102
25J. CHIMERA15:10430:00001:1201
26M. HENDRICKS10:46130:10003:0401
27K. ALZNER20:33170:10002:0201
28A. SEMIN14:58671:12101:3801
39D. STECKEL8:57130:10003:2103
52M. GREEN18:59671:50115:0403
55J. SCHULTZ18:48770:00005:3702
70B. HOLTBY51:3612162:001110:2405
74J. CARLSON22:20370:10002:0201
89T. SLOAN10:32320:00002:4801
90M. JOHANSSON14:25330:00000:0000

PeriodTotalsEVPP5v3 PPSH5v3 SH

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