Edinburgh Capitals forward Dylan Anderson urged everyone at the club to stay positive despite opening their Elite League campaign with a 3-1 home loss to Braehead Clan at Murrayfield last night.
Sloppy defensive turnovers were again Edinburgh’s downfall in an otherwise even game, with Clan goalie, Ryan Nie, who’s shut-out was only broken by a late Sergei Banashkov goal, thoroughly deserving of his man-of-the-match award.
Following on from Saturday’s 4-3 loss on penalty shots at Dundee in the Challenge Cup, where Edinburgh led 2-0 and 3-2, last night’s defeat means Caps are still looking for their first win of the season.
Two Clan goals in 30 seconds towards the end of the second period knocked the stuffing out of their display.
Anderson admitted: “That was tough. We just need to keep working, we can’t let our heads go down. We just need that first win, and keep the positivity in the room.”
Banashkov, who duelled with Nie all night, tested the Clan keeper early with a shot from the circle, and he was only denied an opening goal on ten minutes by a great splits save from Nie after he’d been set up at point-blank range by Igor Valeyev.
Clan also had their chances, Edinburgh stopper Pavel Shegalo making three quickfire saves after Alexander Islamov, who apart from the error had his best game in Capitals shirt, failed to control a hot pass in his own zone.
Despite Shegalo’s best efforts, Clan opened the scoring in the 14th minute. With Caps pushing at the other end, Edinburgh defenceman Jay King lost a 50-50 puck on the Clan blue-line. Shegalo thwarted the initial breakaway but Braehead did well to keep possession and Tyler Scofield fired the puck home seconds later.
Clan should have extended their lead as the first period drew to a close but failed to take advantage of a five-on-three powerplay opportunity thanks in the main to some valiant penalty killing from the home side.
The game was still finely balanced when a Rihards Grigors turnover led to Braehead’s second goal, a rasper of a slap-shot from experienced forward Brendon Brooks. Grigors was furious as he left the ice after his high risk pass up the right-hand side boards was cut out when he had Konstantin Teslyokevich waiting in open ice for a pass.
Caps were miffed and began the next shift with a big open ice hit, which saw Clan defenceman Landon Oslanski skate into the open space and fire another slap-shot beyond Shegalo at 33 minutes and 58 seconds.
There is no doubt that Caps, who were missing the injured Taylor Stefishen and the suspended Marek Trvdon, will improve, and will also benefit from welcoming back last season’s top-scorer Pavel Vorobyev who arrived in the country yesterday after finally receiving his visa.
Capitals captain Michael D’Orazio did not ice in the third period, but Anderson was in no mood to offer excuses.
He said: Ok, so we were missing a couple of guys but we need to tighten up defensively and limit our turnovers, that’s been our problem “Ok, so we were missing a couple of guys but we need to tighten up defensively and limit our turnovers, that’s been our problem.”
The third period was a much flatter affair, Braehead appeared to be cruising to the two points until Banashkov’s goal with seven minutes remaining.
Caps had two late powerplay opportunities and pulled Shegalo in the final minute but Nie and his Braehead team-mates stood firm for the win.