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Vancouver flew to Washington D.C. to lose 4-1

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The Canucks start a long east coast road trip with an embarrassing loss to the Capitals.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Canucks started a long east coast road trip against the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals. The Caps were on a 4 game winning streak and had crushed the Senators in their last game 7-1. The Canucks had beat the Panthers in their last game in O/T. Over the past couple days the east coast media had actually been giving the Sedins the kind of recognition for their character on and off the ice that would make some think that they died. The Caps are one of the favorites this year to win the cup behind the goal scoring of Ovie and the goaltending of Holtby. I used to hate the Caps. Even though they are an Eastern team, I never like Mike Gartner, Rod Langway or Petr Bondra. It’s not rational Iknow. Maybe it was the terrible jerseys.

I did a double take and then went back for thirds when I saw Dorsett on the first line.

First period

I couldn’t watch the game live as East coast time starts usually mean I have a kid harassing me. But the glory of NHL Gamecenter live is that I can skip the commercials and just watch the game. I like games between these two teams as there is a lot of up and down the ice and this Caps team is filled with skill players. The Caps had some early shots at Ryan Miller, who was back in action for the first time since Dec 20th. The Caps controlled the play in the second half of the period and got a couple quality chances against the Canucks. Miller faced 13 shots and made a couple nice saves

The Canucks had only 8 shots in the period and most of those were from far out. The period ended scoreless.

Second Period

The second period started with Dorsett still with the Sedins. I know. There was definite lack of scoring chances for the Canucks in the first and yet….no changes in the lines from the first. The fourth line of Prust, Cracknell and Jake did get a good chance early in the period. Alex Edler then took a penalty as he got chasing Oshie around the net. The Caps PP is number 2 in the league and would give any goalie nightmares. Dorsett and Horvat do some great forechecking on the PK and almost get a shortie. Right after Edler stepped out on the ice, the Caps get a 2 on 1 and Kuznetsov dekes around Miller to make it 1-0

Linden Vey then took at high-sticking penalty. Ten seconds later both teams decided to trade penalties. The Canucks were able to kill off another Caps PP, but I wonder how many more times could you give the Caps those free chances. What I noticed about the Caps was their ability to skate the puck into the offensive zone instead of dumping it in. I also noticed that the Sedins hadn’t really done much so far with Dorsett. I wasn’t the only one.

With 8 minutes left in the period, the second line was digging for the puck in the defensive zone and Sven to hit a questionable hit from Niskanen which drew the rest of the Canucks attention instead of fighting for the puck. The puck went out to the point and Karl Alzner turned and fired over Miller’s shoulder.

Adam Cracknell seemed to be one of the hard workers tonight and he was able to draw a penalty near the end of the period.The first PP unit looked brutal and was lucky (?) to get a Burrows shot that unfortunately hit the post.

The period ended 2-0 Caps.

Third period

1:37 in the period, the game ended.

Twitter is an entertaining website. Panic to Euphoria is instantaneous and contagious. Twitter had many different themes going during the third period.

I agree with this one. Bartkowski was brutal tonight. I think brutal might be underselling it a bit as well.

Vrbata to the fourth line…is …um….well……what the fuck do I know? It seems wrong if you want to score, but if the fourth line the only line getting any offensive push maybe putting a guy who can finish is not a bad idea.

And then someone else who sees what I see…

Back to the actual action. With 11 minutes left in the period Burrows does what you’re supposed to do in the offensive zone if you don’t have the puck, and that’s go hard to the net. He was able to draw a penalty. And 45 seconds later Burrows drew another penalty to get the Nucks a 5 on 3 chance. I think this is one of the reasons he stays this year and most of next. You can’t teach that type of net instinct.

The Canucks were able to capitalize on the 5 on 3 as the Sedins waited patiently around the Caps triangle D and Hank sent it to the middle, where Radim was able to brush off his fourth line troubles and put one behind Holtby.

You would think the momentum would carry over a bit, but nope.

The Caps score an empty netter to seal the deal 4-1.

I have to say this is the first real game where I question Willie. Dorsett brings nothing to the first line. Jake would have been more effective with the twins. Bartkowski/Biega honeymoon is over as the Caps showed a fast skilled team can walk around them. Hell, the whole defense was Garth Butcher slow.

I’m ending this recap now. We go back at tomorrow versus the Hurricanes.