From the Locker Room
They’re an opportunistic team, I thought in the first period it was pretty even, they scored on the power play and that changed the momentum of the game for them. They got a lot of guys that are confident and can make plays. If you give them an inch they’ll make a play.
Holtby made good saves, and they’re good defensively. They shut down the forecheck quickly if you don’t contain it, and they use the middle of the ice. They have defensemen that are good at making the plays in the middle so unless you use a five-man unit to get the puck stalled its sort of one and done.
Special teams make differences in games, the penalty kill has been great all year. For one reason or another, the power play hasn’t been where we want it to be as a group. We gave up two power-play goals tonight and we don't get any ourselves, that's a big part of the game. For us, it's about finding answers and making sure the power play at worst is gaining momentum and getting chances.
The next game is big. You want to go into the break with a good taste in your mouth and we need all the points we can. We see the standings and we know where we are.
I feel like I was chasing the game in the first, I felt like I was all over the place, maybe I wanted it too much. I felt like I settled down in the second and made some good saves. Obviously, we gave up some goals in the third. It’s never fun letting up five goals, one part of me feels like it's fun being back and playing and one part of me is disappointed.
First of all, they have so many skilled players, they have four really really good lines and it's tough to match up with them.
The last three months have been tough and very frustrating. Waking up every day you hope that this is going to be the day that you feel better and obviously it took a long time for me and everyone is different. I feel like the guys played good and everything in my absence.
(On making his return tonight) It feels good. One part of me is really happy, and one part is just as disappointed, there are a lot of emotions just gotta get back into it.
(On his conditioning stint in Charlotte) It helped me. It was a week and a half ago now, but it felt really really good when I was down there and getting to play again. It just would have been nice to play a little better here.
From the Coach
I didn’t mind us in the second and I didn’t mind our start. So it's two-nothing we had a breakaway, a couple of looks, and guys out front. We had some chances but didn’t capitalize out there. They got their third one, we hesitated a little bit and got the fourth one and there’s the game.
We looked at it earlier and in the last eight games, it's five or more (goals) a few with six. They’re averaging over five goals a night and they got to that mark again tonight.
(On Eddie Lack) It’s good to get him back in, needed to get him in. He has put a lot of work to get back to this point. I thought he settled in and I thought he was fine.
We put their power play on the ice three times and they scored twice. We had three opportunities and I don't know if we generated a scoring chance we didn't generate a shot I don't think, and that's a big difference in a game. If you’re going to stay with them you have to keep up. If you lose the special teams battle in this building you’re probably going to lose the game.
We are 3-1-0 in our last four right, so I think we feel pretty good. I know you don’t feel good right now but big picture, it’s a five-game segment and we have a chance to get eight points out of 10 in.
When you break it down we have a day off, a practice, and a game. So, bear down, find a way to close out prior to the bye week properly.
- Special team struggles: The Canes have the top penalty kill unit in the NHL with an 86.5% success rate. However, tonight they let up two goals on three penalty kill chances and failed to register a goal on three power play tries.
- With a loss tonight the Canes now drop to last place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind both the Devils and the Islanders. Despite this, they are still only four points behind the Flyers for a wild card position.
- The Caps improved their win streak to four games and have shutouts in back to back games.
- With the 5-0 shutout, the Caps now have five or more goals in their last nine home games, becoming the first team to do so since the Calgary Flames in 1990.
- The Canes have one more game remaining before the bye week, a road game on Saturday against the struggling Dallas Stars who have lost three straight. After the bye week, the Canes will have five straight home games against the Avalanche, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Senators, and Flames. If they want to make the playoffs they will need to win four of these games.