We're drifting into uncharted territory now.
Jason Chimera's first-period goal was all the offense the Washington Capitals needed, as they defeated the Penguins 1-0 in front of 18,505 fans and one Hooks Orpik at the Verizon Center Wednesday night.
The worst part of what amounted to an overall solid defensive effort was how completely awful the lone goal surrendered actually was.
Evgeni Malkin carries the puck into the Capitals zone, diagonally gliding towards the left wing. He enters some traffic, with Pascal Dupuis and James Neal not too far off, awaiting some sort of act of distribution from the Russian. Chip, pass, dump. Whatever. Paul Martin optimistically enters the zone down the right.
The three players nearest Malkin are facing him directly from three distinct angles. Problematically, none are Penguins. The puck is easily poke checked by Joel Ward into the neutral zone. Turnover. The odd-man rush is on, with only Zbynek Michalek back.
Instead of gliding into position to defend the 3-on-1, he commits to a race for the puck with Jeff Halpern. A race he is not capable of winning. Halpern gets there first and chips a simple pass to the onrushing Chimera who slots it past Marc-Andre Fleury.
There was some good news.
Dustin Jeffrey played. He didn't get injured. He almost scored late. Didn't. Alas.
Dupuis almost got injured, but didn't. I think. Malkin disappeared for a little bit, but wasn't hurt. I think.
Sidney Crosby was in the building. He chilled in the press box, but at least he was there. He's still hurt. I think.
Bright spots, gotta find the bright spots.
Like, at least this isn't 2003-04, when the Penguins lost 18 games in a row. That couldn't possibly ever happen again.