Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
Effort alone won’t win you games. The Capitals had plenty of that but not enough scoring as they fell to the Florida Panthers on home ice by a 4-1 final. It could have been worse. It was 1-0 Florida early, 2-0 after one and 3-0 late in the second. But the Capitals reeled the game in and made it 3-1 where the game stayed until an empty netter gave us our final score.
We’re going to look at the numbers here and they are mostly good, if not great. This is one of those games that is hard to wrap up, because of this. The Caps didn’t play bad, weren’t great and probably deserved the result. But we’ll go ahead and look anyways.
The Capitals were down for the majority of this game, so this will look lopsided because of that, especially if you look at the third period where the Caps out attempted the Panthers 21-4 while 5v5.
Score adjusted Corsi could make an appearance here and while 5v5 that was 49-32. In total the Capitals out attempted Florida 75-47.
Offensively, looking at this chart, the Capitals were fine tonight. They got to the net and got some scoring chances in tight. Thanks to that, they actually won the expected goals game.
Looking at the Panthers end however, just way too much in tight and around Philipp Grubauer.
There was not one Capitals skater who finished below 50% Corsi tonight. The worst players in possession were Taylor Chorney and Brett Connolly, both a +1.
Again, the Capitals lost the game and were down for the whole game. Shot attempts are going to be one sided so not much will ever stand out here. If you are asking me though, I do like to see the young guys high in this number and Bowey, Vrana and Djoos led the way against the Panthers, good to see.
Faceoffs were an issue tonight. In total the Capitals won 33 of 77 faceoffs equaling 43%. Three of the four main centers struggled and eleven guys total took a faceoff tonight.
Looking at individuals, Backstrom and Eller struggled all night long, Kuznetsov started strong but ended up pretty bad once again. And Jay Beagle was Jay Beagle, enough said there.
Other faceoff takers:
Andre Burakovsky: 2 of 3
T.J. Oshie: 2 of 4
Ovechkin & Chiasson: 1 of 1
Jakub Vrana: 0 of 2
Connolly & Smith-Pelly: 0 of 1
Special teams definitely played a part in this game. The Capitals were 4/6 on the PK. That was pretty much your different for a lot of this game. It was 3-1 for the final period, the two power play goals were the difference. Washington’s power play couldn’t make up for that either going 0/4 on the night against the Panthers 31st ranked penalty kill.
The Capitals couldn’t stay out of the box either. They took all six of their penalties in the first two periods and I think that took a couple of their key players out of the game. Namely Kuznetsov and Backstrom, Backstrom actually taking two of those penalties.
Grubauer played good I thought. It could have gotten a little ugly early and after his last outing vs Philadelphia he or the entire team didn’t let this one get out of control.
That might be the thing I take out of this game. It was 3-0 and not much was going right. But the effort didn’t drop, they fought hard, got chances but couldn’t punch in a couple of more goals. Overall an OK game, but OK will probably get you a lot of losses in the NHL.
Caps have to sit on this one for a while. Next game starts a western Canada trip. First up, Vancouver on Thursday.
By CJ Witt.