The period got off to a rather physical start, with the Devils putting checks on the Capitals’ skaters in their own zone. The game was very much in the balance in the first 10 minutes of the period, with each side generating a number of chances, on the counter especially for the Capitals. Each side traded blows, until Capitals goalie Tyler Beskorowany left the game with a potential injury. After Beskorowany’s shock exit, the momentum was almost all in favour of the Devils. They were able to score their first goal, as Andrew Hotham slid the puck under backup Kevin Forshall’s pads. After the first goal, however, the Capitals were able to rally and pepper Ben Bowns with shots, showcasing very creative play. Unfortunately, they would not score, and the Devils would find another goal through Joey Haddad, who snuck through a point shot. The Capitals would let in three more goals before the period ended, being absolutely dominated along the boards by a stronger Devils team, and in possession as well. While it is possible to blame goaltending for the goals scored, the entire team seemed to lose all fight when the second goal went in. To summarise just how one sided it got, Forshall faced 18 shots and the Capitals were only able to send 5 on Cardiff’s net.
Score after one: Capitals 0 Devils 5
The Devils opened up the second period keeping the same control they held throughout the majority of the first, including drawing a hooking penalty from Igor Valeyev. They were unable to convert, however, and the Capitals breathed a sigh of relief. The Capitals would finally score a goal on a deflection by Dylan Anderson from a point shot. However, soon after Cardiff would grab another goal from a 4 on 1 after confusion in line changes. Things went from bad to worse for the Capitals as captain Michael D’Orazio was forced off due to injury halfway through the period. The Devils added a seventh goal to their tally shortly after the injury to D’Orazio. The Capitals went to the powerplay a few minutes later, but could not convert. They redeemed themselves just a minute later, when they were handed another powerplay and this time were able to score! Dylan Anderson received a pass across the crease from Mike Cazzola, and put the puck into an empty net for his second of the game. D’Orazio claimed a secondary assist on the play, as he returned to action. Unfortunately for him, he would leave the ice again after taking a heavy hit from a Devils’ forechecker. Fortunately, yet again, he would return later.
Score after two: Capitals 2 Devils 7
The Capitals were able to open the third period with some good chances, however, a lack of shooting doomed them as they would not score on any of these early opportunities. The Devils would get a powerplay with a quarter of the action done, and they would score top shelf on Forshall to make it eight on the night. The Devils would wrap up the evening with near dominance in the Capitals’ zone, as they killed off the game effectively. They would even score a ninth goal on another powerplay and a tenth with less than three minutes left. There were some scrums at the end of the game after big hits in the Capitals’ zone.
Final Score: Capitals 2 Devils 10
- Capitals were physically dominated
Simply put, the Devils were bigger, faster, and stronger than the Capitals. They were able to dominate board battles, and hold off challenges from a rather conservative Capitals defence. It was evidently clear that the Devils’ skaters were more prepared for this game from a fitness standpoint.
- Maybe a different score-line if Beskorowany had not been taken out
Beskorowany has arguably been the best player on the Capitals as of late, and his removal from the game was perhaps the biggest talking point of this contest. Kevin Forshall is by far a worse goaltender than Beskorowany, and perhaps the score would have been less shocking had he not been injured.
- Same old same old
Consistently, when this team performs poorly, the same talking points can be highlighted: a lack of defensive positioning and a lack of aggression, poor goaltending (though this is due to injury), and lack of support for zone entry offensively continued to plague the Capitals tonight. I am honestly not sure how this team managed to beat Belfast, one of the league’s better teams, away from home earlier.