As they so often do, however, the Caps just HAD to make it interesting towards the end. They were up 3-0 heading towards the end of the second. It all started when that classic little pest of a forward Martin St. Louis stole the puck from Mike Knuble from behind. He then slipped it to a waiting Tom Pyatt who buried it in the low right corner past an unprepared Tomas Vokoun. Hmm well it was Friday the 13th...could it be that Knuble was suffering from disk-a-trek-a-phobia (the fear of traveling any distance with the puck)? I'll save you the trouble....
In all seriousness, we who are fans of Knuble's usual strong play were hanging our collective head on that one. I'm hating myself for saying it, but that miscue may offer some explanation into his reduced ice time this year. Personally I think he should be used more on the power play and the screen in front, but, as we saw in the opening goal, Mr. Brouwer has proven himself more than capable in that role.
Friday the 13th sure wasn't kind to Alex Semin either--two hit posts??? Seriously?
The Lightning would eventually rally to make it 3-2. Brouwer's hat-tosser into an empty net seemed to lock it up with exactly a minute left (OK, really 59.3 seconds). But the Lightning still wouldn't go away as 49 seconds later Vincent Lecavalier squeezed one past Vokoun to make it 4-3. Lecavalier damn near
And the moral of that story, yet again, is play all 60 minutes no matter what. But the good news is that now the Caps only trail the Florida Panthers by two points for the Southeast Division lead. Today, there's the game against woeful Carolina. The inclination would be to look past this game. The inclination would also be like putting hot sauce on a jelly doughnut--a very bad idea. The Canes have actually been playing solid hockey as of late, recently beating the defending champs the Bruins. They're also benefiting from the resurgence of Eric Staal. This one should be a good tune up for the rematch later on this week at Consol against the Penguins.
One last moral and it bears worth being repeated: Never put hot sauce on a jelly doughnut unless the bet is for a ton of cash. Just some words of wisdom for the next Friday the 13th.