WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Marcus Johansson #90 of the Washington Capitals scores the tying goal on goalie Dustin Tokarski #40 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at the Verizon Center on March 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
This was goaltender Dustin Tokarski's first ever NHL start. Previous to this game, he'd had a total of 44 minutes of NHL time in two games in relief. For an NHL newbie, he did a pretty darned good job.
Especially under extenuating circumstances. According to Erik Erlendsson:
... After the game he had such bad cramps he required two bags of sodium chloride solution. He said the cramps started affecting him 5 minutes into the third period.
"Sodium chloride solution" is also known as "saline" or "saltwater". The "bags" part of the equation is that they were I.V. bags. He was so dehydrated that he was cramping up, so they had to give him water intravenously - two bags worth! By the very end of overtime, he could barely stand and had problems getting back into position again once he'd gone down to block a low shot.
Which isn't to say that Tokarski let the team down, because he didn't. He saw very little action during the second period, but was great in the first and third - despite his dehydration issues. He was still making the saves he needed to in overtime, but he was starting to struggle a bit, and for good reason.
The entire team did not have a shot on goal during the third period until 3:30 left in the game. And they didn't have a shot on goal in the just over four minutes of overtime, either. Steven Stamkos had only one shot on goal up until the very end of the third, and finished with only two shots for the entire game. Martin St. Louis did not have a shot on goal at all. The guys that were doing all of the shooting were Brett Connolly, Teddy Purcell, and Adam Hall - all of which had four shots on goal.
Speaking of Connolly, there was a scary moment during the second period where Mike Green hit Brett up high. Thankfully, he was able to leave the game on his own power and returned before the period ended. However, no penalty was called on the play.
In regards to the standings, this game boosted the Capitals into 8th place in the Eastern Conference with 72 points. The Winnipeg Jets are sitting in ninth, also with 72 points (Washington has one more win than Winnipeg does). The Buffalo Sabres are in 10th place with 70 points. And the Lightning are sitting in the 11th spot with 69 points.
The next game is Saturday, 10 March, at home versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Game time is the regular 7:30 pm start. The Raw Charge game thread will be available at 7 pm, so come join us if you're not at the game.