Golden Knights Blank Capitals, 3-0

harperThe Washington Capitals came to Las Vegas looking for some redemption after finishing with just 17 shots and blowing a 2-1 lead with 61 seconds left in their 3-2 overtime loss to Arizona on Friday, but the Golden Knights had other plans and jumped on the Caps with three early goals, never looking back in route to a 3-0 win over Washington. Both teams now go on the holiday break. 

Capitals’ Lines vs. Golden Knights

Taylor Chorney and Alex Chiasson drew out of the lineup and Devante Smith-Pelly and Madison Bowey came back into the lineup after being scratched in Arizona last night.

First Period

Scoring: Alex Tuch struck 2:37 into the game off a rebound of a Brendan Leipsic shot. Leipsic forced a turnover in the Capitals’ zone. Tuch drove the net and potted the rebound past Braden Holtby for his 8th goal of the season.

Former-Ranger Oscar Lindberg made it 2-0 7:39 in, sniping one over Holtby’s glove after taking a feed from forward Tomas Nosek on a 4-on-2 odd man rush.

William Karlsson took a feed from Riley Smith, putting the puck past Holtby from the right circle with 5:01 to go in the first period. Jonathan Marchessault got the other helper and Karlsson got his 16th goal of the season, one goal shy of James Neal for the team lead.

The Good: The Capitals made it out of the first period down only 3-0 given numerous scoring chances for the Golden Knights. The Capitals led in hits 14-10 and won 61% of the faceoffs.

The Bad: The Golden Knights blocked 8 shots to the Capitals 4.

The Ugly: The Capitals had six giveaways to the Golden Knights’ three. The Golden Knights had 10 takeaways and the Capitals only had 3. Vegas was swarming in the Capitals’ zone for almost the whole period and led in shots 17-9 after one.

Second Period

Scoring: None.

The Good: The Capitals got their legs back under them in the second, going the entire period without a turnover and outshooting the Golden Knights 7-6 while outhitting them 25-15.  The Capitals also killed off their first penalty of the night, not allowing a shot.   Vegas would open the third period with 1:24 remaining on their second power play. The Capitals won 53% of the faceoffs through the second period.

The Bad: Vegas blocked 12 shots while the Capitals only blocked nine.

The Ugly: The Capitals only had one shot on goal on two power plays to begin the period. Vegas led in takeaways 14-6 through two.

Third Period

Scoring: None.

The Good: The Capitals swarmed the Vegas zone at the beginning of the period in an effort to make a strong push. They outhit the Golden Knights 31-18 and didn’t give away the puck after having six turnovers in the first.

The Bad: The Golden Knights had 18 takeaways to the Capitals’ seven. The Golden Knights blocked 25 shots while the Capitals had 10. The Devils reclaimed top spot in the division with a 4-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks and are a point ahead of the Caps with two games in hand.

The Ugly: The Capitals were shutout for the second time this season and for the first time on the road. Their last time being shutout was on October 17, when they were silenced by the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 2-0 score at Capital One Arena. They were held scoreless on four power-play opportunities. The Golden Knights led in takeaways 20-8.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for the shutout.

Game Stats:

Shots:             Capitals – 26                     Golden Knights – 28

Faceoffs:        Capitals – 49%                 Golden Knights – 51%

Blocked Shots: Capitals – 10                     Golden Knights – 25

Hits:                Capitals – 34                     Golden Knights – 20

Power Play:   Capitals – 0/4                     Golden Knights – 0/2

Up Next:

Capitals are off for three days for the Christmas break and will play the New York Rangers in a pivotal Metropolitan Division matchup on Wednesday. The Rangers currently occupy the first wildcard spot in the conference with 42 points. The Capitals have won three of their past four games at Madison Square Garden and three straight against the Rangers overall, including a 4-2 win at Capital One Arena on December 8. Puck drop is at 8:00 PM on Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBC Sports Network.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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