Alex Ovechkin, who missed the team’s morning skate on Tuesday due to “personal reasons”, was a late arrival at Verizon Center on Tuesday night (6:05 PM). Ovechkin did not participate in pre-game warm-ups and was ultimately scratched from the game. This was the 23rd game Ovechkin has missed in his NHL career. This was the 4th time that both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have missed the same game. The lines for tonight’s game:
This was John Carlson‘s 400th game with the Capitals, and he also wore the 3rd “A” for the game (No “C”).
The San Jose Sharks out-skated the Capitals from end-to-end for most of this contest. Both goalies were sharp early, however Braden Holtby gave up a couple of rebound goals. The Capitals were simply outplayed. The Capitals power play lacked any kind of attack until late in the third period. Other than that, the Caps looked flat when compared to the speedy Sharks, and were simply outplayed.
Quick pace right from the start tonight as both teams had a couple of early chances. Jay Beagle was called for slashing at 4:34, giving the Sharks the games first power play. Holtby had a couple of nice saves, helping the Caps successfully kill off the penalty. Both goalies were very sharp early. Brooks Orpik was called for tripping at 10:41, setting up a quick power play goal for the Sharks, giving them a 1-0 lead at 10:54. The Sharks began to tilt the ice in their favor in the last half of the period, with very little in the way of chances for the Capitals. The Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for hooking at 16:55, giving the Sharks their third power play for the period. The Capitals killed the power play. The only real chance for the Caps came on a 3-on-1 breakaway, but Kuznetsov’s pass to the middle was broken up by the Sharks defense. The period ended 1-0, Sharks. The Sharks lead 37-13 in shot attempts, 17-8 in SOG and 10-7 in draws.
The second period started quick again, when the Sharks Mike Brown punched in a rebound at the 2:36 mark of the period, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead. The Sharks would add another tally on another rebound punch-in by Tomas Hertl at the 7:25 mark, giving the Sharks a 3-0 lead. Dmitri Orlov would apparently get the Caps on the board at the 9:39 mark with a bomb from the point. The Sharks challenged the goal, arguing Jay Beagle interfered with the Sharks goalie. The coaches challenge was successful and overturned the goal.
The Capitals went on the power play on a high-sticking call on Burns at 10:56. However, the Caps were unable to generate much of an attack and would be unsuccessful in capitalizing on the odd-man advantage. The period ended, 3-0 Sharks. Sharks lead 27-20 in SOG.
The third period started out with an early power play for the Capitals at the 0:35 mark, with Matt Niskanen assuming the Ovechkin spot. Niskanen got off a blast but to no avail. Otherwise an unsuccessful power play for the Caps with very little pressure. The Sharks would return favor and go on the power play at the 3:31 mark, on a holding call on Stanislav Galiev. San Jose went back on the power play once again on a Jason Chimera penalty. Chimera would also proceed to try and elbow the entire San Jose bench.
The Capitals would go on the power play at the 8:34 mark. The Capitals showed a little more pressure finally, but were unable to score. During the power play the Sharks were called for an additional penalty yielding two more minutes of 5-on-4 for the Caps. Once again, no dice. Trotz pulled his goalie with five minutes left in the game, trying anything to get some offensive push. The Sharks added two empty-net goals late for a 5-0 Sharks win.