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The Capitals were able to grab a standings point on the road Tuesday night in Columbus, but in all reality, they let the second point slip away. Here are five quick takeaways from last night’s game against the Blue Jackets.
Scoring Drought – The Capitals have scored just three 5-on-5 goals in the last four games. The Capitals could simply be suffering from a lack of consistent line combinations. Paralyses by analysis. Trotz told the media after the game that some of the players on the team aren’t “committed” to scoring.
Weak Finish – The Caps seemed to institute another rendition of the always nerve-racking prevent defense at the start of the third period. This would be the death knell.
- The Capitals were outshot 15-5 since the end of the second period.
- Washington limited the Jackets to just 10 shots on net over the game’s first 37 minutes, but Columbus managed 17 shots over the final 23:37 of the game.
- The Capitals managed one shot on net over the final 17:37 of the game, and no shots on goal over the final 10:11.
Special Teams – The Capitals penalty kill passed the test Tuesday night in Columbus. Washington stifled the league’s best power play (33.3% heading into game), stopping the Blue Jackets on all three power plays. Washington also had chances at short-handed goals on two occasions, a new trend that seems to be developing as of late. The Capitals power play continues to struggle, going 0-2 for the game.
Russian Wither – Alex Ovechkin’s 14:12 TOI Tuesday was the second lowest of his career in a game that didn’t include an injury or misconduct. (Ben Rabby). Evgeny Kuznetsov has just two goals in his last 35 regular season games dating back to last season. Including playoffs, he has three goals in his last 47 games.
Defense Responds – The Blue Jackets had scored 21 goals in the last three games, and entered Tuesday’s contest with the league’s best power play (33.3%). The Jackets had the ninth most goals scored in the league, even though they were averaging the fewest shots per game in the entire league. The Capitals allowed the Blue Jackets just one goal in regulation.
By Jon Sorensen