The Washington Capitals raised the President's Trophy banner tonight prior to their home opener for the 2010-11 season against the New Jersey Devils. The fans brought the Verizon Center down with noise as the team was introduced and for the first time since a devastating game seven loss to Montreal in May.
It seems as if the Capitals are still trying to shake off that hangover from last year as they have stumbled out the gate in the first period , trailing the Devils 2-1 after the first period. This sluggish start comes on the heels of a season-opening 4-2 loss to Atlanta Friday night.
New Jersey took an early lead just 1:49 into the game as rookie center Marcus Johansson, in just his second career NHL start, made a questionable pass across the slot, which was intercepted by New Jersey. Jason Arnott scored off the turnover for his second goal of the year to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.
1:07 later, the Capitals answered quickly off the rush courtesy of a John Carlson wrister, which found the top right corner of the net to beat Martin Brodeur to tie it at one apiece.
The Devils would cap the first period scoring with a shorthanded goal by Henrik Tallinder. After Alexander Semin returned to the ice, the Devils contined to control the puck in the offensive zone and Tallinder took a drop pass from Dainius Zubrus and hammered it home past Michal Neuvirth.
Notes: The Capitals went 0-2 on the powerplay, continuing a slump that started last year in the postseason. They are 1-38 on the powerplay, dating back to last season.
The Capitals have 12 shots to the Devils 10.
Devils D Anton Volchenkov was struck in the face by a Nicklas Backstrom slap shot. He was down on the ice bleeding for several minutes. His status is unknown.