After a 4-2 loss in Tinseltown an evening ago, the Capitals have now lost 3 in a row, and are clinging on to their Metropolitan Division lead by 1 point. The Capitals will look to turn things around on their road trip as they face the Anaheim Ducks tonight in their second and final meeting of the season. Puck drop is at 9:30 PM ET on CSN and NHL Network.
In the land where Walt Disney built his first theme park, the Anaheim Ducks have had a lot of success in recent years.
In the last 10 games, the Ducks have been riding California Screamin’ with their recent performances. They have won 5 out of their last 10 games, but they are coming off a 4-3 loss in St. Louis on Friday night. It has truly been a loopy ride full of twists and turns for them in recent games.
The hottest Ducks player right now is Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf, 31, has recorded 12 goals and 53 points in 61 games this year. He has recorded 7 points in his last 5 contests. He recently got into a tussle on Thursday night in Chicago as he faced Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.
Yes, he even threw some punches at Panik while Panik’s equipment was over his head. Not very nice.
On special teams, the Ducks are average on the powerplay. They rank 16th with the man advantage and are 19.1% effective. The Ducks are ranked 3rd on the penalty kill as they are 85% effective.
To lighten the gloomy mood surrounding the Capitals right now, you might spot some Orange County song references below.
Let’s face it. With the way the Capitals have started their California road trip, I think I’ll have myself a Beer.
They looked shook in the Shark Tank on Thursday night, and were undisciplined at Staples Center an evening ago.
Gone Away are the days before the bye-week where the Capitals were just steamrolling through their competition. The Capitals have lost 3 in a row, and it feels like the world is going to end. They are playing with little Self Esteem, which is something I do not even think Orange County’s own “The Offspring” would approve of. Since the bye week, the Capitals goal scoring has taken a dip.
Caps haven’t scored more than 2 goals in 9 of their 11 games since the bye.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) March 12, 2017
To make things worse, it appears the Capitals will be without the services of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk for a couple of games. Shattenkirk has been suspended 2 games for his charging penalty on Kevin Gravel.
The Capitals appear to be banged up, especially on the blueline. Karl Alzner, Brooks Orpik, and John Carlson could all be playing with injuries late in this regular season. With Shattenkirk’s suspension, Nate Schmidt should draw back into the lineup. It is likely that Taylor Chorney will also slot back into the lineup soon to get back into a rhythm before the playoffs.
The Capitals special teams are respectable, but have not been good the past couple of games. The Capitals are ranked 8th on the powerplay, as they are 21.3% effective. The Capitals penalty kill has slipped a little, but it is still ranked 5th in the league and it is 84% effective.
METROPOLITAN DIVISION STANDINGS
KEYS TO VICTORY FOR THE CAPITALS
-Get a couple of quick goals: If the Capitals can pounce on the Ducks early, they will re-gain some confidence. Scoring the first goal of the game can set the tone early, and can put doubt into the opponents’ heads.
-Stay disciplined: The Capitals took 6 penalties last night in LA, which is way too many. This has been a recurring problem for the Capitals, and it is something that Capitals fans should be concerned about.
— Chris Cordella (@Chris_Cordella) March 12, 2017
-Spread your love and Fly: Every team faces slumps and down times, but it is important to know that the season is not over yet. The Capitals must continue to keep playing the rest of the way. The Capitals are still playing to be the top team in the NHL. They are playing for good playoff seeding and home ice advantage. With the Pittsburgh Penguins right on their tail in the standings, the Capitals need to buckle down and get back to their winning ways pre-bye week.
A LOOK BACK IN TIME
On February 11, the Capitals defeated the Ducks 6-4 at Verizon Center. This was right before the Capitals went on their dreaded bye week.
#Caps Alex Ovechkin has matched longest scoring drought of NHL career (9 games; Nov.17-Dec.2, 2010). Also career-long 17 straight w/out ESG
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) March 12, 2017
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) March 12, 2017
Game Notes at Anaheim, 3/12/17 (Capitals PR)
By: George Foussekis