Friday, April 3, 2009

Sabres 5 Caps 4 (OT)

OK, first the good news, the Caps can go shopping for another one of these...

The Caps officially clinched themselves a top-3 seed in the playoffs by winning the Southeast Division again. That would be the good news. The bad news is that the Caps were very sloppy tonight and the effort was particularly uninspiring 5 on 5.

Buffalo wasn't much better as 3 of their 5 goals came off of funny bounces and richochets, only Derek Roy's goal being intentional. The Caps were bailed out by their power play, which went 3 for 7 tonight. The second period saw a parade of guys going to the penalty box. If one guy summed up the whole Caps night, it was Sergei Fedorov. He had two goals but also was -2 and had a terrible giveaway that set up Jason Pominville's overtime winner for the Sabres. The win kept Buffalo alive for the playoffs, barely, to the delight of the legions of fans that invade the Phone Booth. I have no explanation for why so many Buffalo Sabres fans invade Verizon Center everytime. Maybe its cause Buffalo, much like Pittsburgh and Easton, Md., is the the type of place you flee as soon as humanly possible.

While the game was sloppy, it was entertaining, with lots of chances back and forth. I suppose an effort like this was to be expected, since the Caps have spent almost a month on cruise control, playing crappy teams in glorified scrimmages. I think all Caps fans would prefer the team come out and stomp teams to feel like we're rolling into the playoffs. Certainly, there is motivation to hold off New Jersey and get that second seed against Montreal or New York rather than be in a 1st round war with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Carolina. Whatever the case, the Caps did take care of the business at hand and locked up the Southeast. You'd rather do it with a win, especially a convincing one, but consider goal #1 reached.

Next game is Sunday afternoon against surging Atlanta (winners of 10 of 13). Caps better bring their A-game for that one, since the Thrash seem content to play themselves right out of the lottery. But until then, let's say goodnight to da bad guys.

Here's the highlights of tonight's game. Do yourself a favor and turn the volume down to avoid hearing the ultra-annoying nasal voice of Buffalo announcer Rick Jenneret. Seriously, do it. Do it. Do it.

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