Capitals lose out to Devils by the odd goal in three at Murrayfield.

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The Cardiff Devils were the latest team to visit Murrayfield and leave with the points in the EIHL on Sunday night. A remarkable lack of penalties – five in all – kept the game tight so neither team had many Powerplay opportunities to take advantage of.

After a 20 minute delay to the start of the match for ‘something’, the Capitals had most of the early possession and made the Cardiff ‘keeper work for his money with several shots on target. The Devils, for their part had to defend in numbers, but still managed to get up the ice to pressurise the Edinburgh goal. The Capitals were first on the scoreboard, however, with a close in effort from 97, Marcis Zembergs (assists – 63, 24) which slid in past the Cardiff ‘keeper. Late on in the period, the Devils came back at the Capitals and saw a couple of shots on target deflected wide by Hiadlovsky in the Edinburgh goal.

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The second period was also held up as repairs were made to the door that the ice maintenance machine had been driven into, but was a much more even affair with both sides having chances thwarted by some excellent saves from their respective ‘keepers, one in particular from Hiadlovsky which saw the home goalie close down Cardiff’s Birbraer almost five metres out from his goal. It was starting to look like a goalless period of play when, with less than two minutes left on the clock, a speculative shot on goal from the Devils’ 11, Mac Faulkner (assists – 41, 61) found its way between Hiadlovsky’s pads and into the back of the net for Cardiff’s equaliser.

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With the score 1-1 at the start of the third period, again the sides were fairly evenly matched, but play gradually degenerated into a game of ‘keep the puck’ as neither side were particularly keen to leave an opening for the opposition. This led to the crowd starting up a chant of “Boring! Boring…!”, but it still took a couple of minutes for ‘normal service to resume’. And resume it did as the match picked up pace and turned in to fast end to end contest, but with just over six minutes of standard time left, 22, Tyson Marsh (assists – 11, 61) found the back of the net for the visitors to take them into a game winning lead. In spite of upping the pressure on the Cardiff goal in the final minutes of the match, Edinburgh couldn’t find the chink in the defence they needed and the match finished with the visitors maintaining their 2-1 lead.

This was Edinburgh sixth loss on the bounce and leaves them four points adrift of the Fife Flyers at the foot of the table, having played three more games than their near neighbours. It now looks as if any chance of securing a play-off place has gone for the Capitals as the Devils currently have the final place – eighth in the table –  eleven points ahead of the Capitals with two games in hand.