Posted February 08, 2013 on AP on Fox
Very little has gone right for the NHL-worst Washington Capitals, who failed to keep up again their last time out. While the Florida Panthers also struggled in the early going, they've picked up plenty of steam over the last week-plus. The Capitals try to avoid matching their longest pointless streak from all of last season Saturday against the Southeast Division rival Panthers, losers of five straight in the nation's capital. After reaching the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, Washington (2-8-1) could have a hard time contending if its efforts thus far are any indication. The Capitals have allowed a league high-tying 41 goals and have scored just 2.3 per game. "A little bit of everything," first-year coach Adam Oates said when asked what needs to change. "You got to be a strong team, you got to do as many little things as you can, which includes the goalie. ... We have to fight through our mistakes." The Capitals made more than their fair share of errors Thursday in a 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh. Washington took an early 1-0 lead but allowed five unanswered goals in the second period, dropping to 0-3-0 over its last three games. The Capitals were last handed four consecutive regulation losses Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2011. "We need a win and once we get that win, confidence will build up," said Mike Ribeiro, who scored his team best-tying fourth goal Thursday. "We just have a hard time playing 60 minutes." That hasn't been an issue against the Panthers (4-5-1) of late, especially at home. Washington has taken eight of nine from Florida on its own ice, including the last five by a 19-6 margin thanks to five goals and four assists from Alex Ovechkin. Although the usually high-scoring forward has just three goals - all on the power-play - general manager George McPhee doesn't appear too concerned. Ovechkin, who scored Thursday, enters the weekend riding a three-game point streak. "I really like the way Alex has played the last four games," McPhee said. "Adam is convinced that he can get him playing the way that Ovi can play. ... He's getting a lot more chances on the right side than the left. He's a much more effective player. I like it a lot. You might disagree, but it looks a lot better to us." After scoring just five goals during an 0-5-0 skid, the Panthers have averaged 3.5 in taking seven of a possible eight points. The reigning division champs continued their recent prowess Thursday in a 3-2 shootout victory at Philadelphia. Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller both scored shootout goals and former Washington goaltender Jose Theodore made 30 saves to win his third consecutive start "Coming in here and getting two points is huge for our confidence," said Theodore, who's 1-5-0 with a 3.88 goals-against average in his last seven games as an opponent at Washington. Stephen Weiss also came up big Thursday, scoring the game-tying goal - his first of the season - 8:35 into the third period. "He's a big piece to our puzzle, and it's good to see him get on the board," coach Kevin Dineen said of Weiss, who has seven goals and 24 points in his last 21 matchups against the Capitals. "But it's more than just the goals, he goes into the corners, he wins faceoffs and does all the little things for us. We see that every night." Weiss could be in for another big game against Braden Holtby, who's gone 1-4-0 with an NHL-worst 4.74 GAA among qualified goalies.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Drew Shore patiently waiting for first NHL goal

Drew Shore has little to show for his hard work. The Florida Panthers rookie has gone from simply filling a need on an injury-riddled roster to being a catalyst on the team's second line. Shore leads the Panthers in faceoff win percentage and has drawn positive feedback from teammates and coaches. Yet eight games into his young pro career, he's still thirsting for his first...

NHL-worst Caps not ready to 'blow anything up'

Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee says it's not time to make radical moves, even though the team is the worst in the NHL with nearly a quarter of the season done. McPhee on Friday cited penalties and goaltending as two of the major culprits that have caused the Capitals to lose nine of their first 11 games. McPhee says ''we're not going to blow anything...

Happy Birthday, Mike Ribeiro!

Capitals center Mike Ribeiro is a very young 33 today, leading the Caps in scoring with 14 points in 12 games. The post Happy Birthday, Mike Ribeiro! appeared first on Capitals Outsider.

Capitals Continue To Struggle

from Scott Burnside of ESPN, In the Caps' locker room, the players were suitably chastened, as you would expect from a team that is now 2-8-1. Troy Brouwer suggested the team wasn't mentally prepared to play. "I agree," offered captain Alex Ovechkin. "Yeah, no emotions. Nothing." Before Thursday's game, rookie head coach Adam...

Panthers at Capitals game preview

Game time: Saturday at 7 p.m. TV: FOX Sports Florida Very little has gone right for the NHL-worst Washington Capitals, who failed to keep up again their last time out. While the Florida Panthers also struggled in the early going, they've picked up plenty of steam over the last week-plus. The Capitals try to avoid matching their longest pointless streak from all of last season...

Panthers 3, Flyers 2, SO

Jonathon Huberdeau and Peter Mueller both scored goals in a shootout to lead the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Florida's Stephen Weiss tied the game at 2 midway through the third period with his first goal of the season. Jack Skille also scored for the Panthers. Matt Read and Jakub Voracek both scored goals for the Flyers. Read...

Brouwer scores 2 as Capitals blank Panthers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Troy Brouwer scored two goals and Braden Holtby stopped 27 shots and assisted on Brouwer's second goal and the Washington Capitals shut out the Florida Panthers 5-0 in the opener of a home-and-home series Saturday night. Mathieu Perreault and Joel Ward each added a goal and an assist, and Alex Ovechkin also scored for Washington (3-8-1), which snapped a three...

Panthers bounce back to top Flyers in shootout

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jonathon Huberdeau and Peter Mueller both scored goals in a shootout to lead the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Florida's Stephen Weiss tied the game at 2 midway through the third period with his first goal of the season. Jack Skille also scored for the Panthers. Matt Read and Jakub Voracek both scored goals...

Pittsburgh Penguins Gameday 11 - Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals (2-7-1) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (7-3-0) ROOT, NHLN-US. CSN-DC - 7:00 pm/et Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA This feels almost exactly like the kind of game that the Penguins overlook, doesn't it? The struggling Capitals visit Pittsburgh. The Penguins have won four-in-a-row. The Pens have a big home-and-home with the Devils coming up...

Eklund: Six years later, LA Takes a Flier on Ellerby

Hockey is a funny little world sometimes. Back before the 2007 Draft, the consensus top two defense prospects were Karl Alzner and Keaton Ellerby. After the top three picks (as expected) were forwards Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk and Kyle Turris, the Los Angeles Kings had the fourth overall pick of the Draft. LA did indeed pick a defenseman, but it was neither of the expected...

Steven Hindle: Runaway Train

If there is one thing I might very well be grateful for this year, it's the lockout. Why, you ask? Well, the lockout forced me into greater roles in my other occupations and has since kept me from keeping as close an eye on the Washington Capitals as I normally do. Straight up, Caps fans, this has been damnnnnn hard to watch. And I am happy that I haven't scarred...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.