Well, that was certainly a better effort!
Theodore's second shutout of the season came a night after he was yanked in the second period of Monday's loss to the Thrashers. While most of those goals weren't purely his fault -- indifferent defense tends to make goalies' nights longer -- he certainly could've played more crisply.
He did last night. At least for the first two-thirds of the game.
During the third, the defense swarmed the helpless pussycats, and held them shotless. Not one on net!
After he repelled 19 harmless kitty pellets through the first two periods, Jose could've taken the night off. He might as well have grabbed a Barcalounger, some suntan cream, and laid out on South Beach. (After a winter behind all those pads, he could probably use the tan anyway.)
Coach Boudreau was a little more buoyant after that win: “I thought the defense as a whole played as good as I’ve seen them play all year. To hold them to zero shots in the third period and 19 in their building in a game that they had to win was quite a testament.”
While the Panthers appeared to lack effort in what should've been a desperation win, some of that was the Caps' improved play. They just battled harder and showed what they're capable of when they're willing to go max effort.
It's the kind of effort they're going to need to continue to demonstrate if they're going to win in Philly, Boston or New Jersey come May and June.