Capitals Nip Sharks 2-0; Philipp Grubauer Pitches Second Shutout of the Season


Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Image

The Washington Capitals beat the San Jose Sharks 2-0 Saturday afternoon at SAP Center in San Jose. After a scoreless first, Nicklas Backstrom would dent the twine late in the middle frame to give the Caps a 1-0 lead at the second intermission. Lars Eller would add an empty net goal late in the third period to give the Caps a 2-0 win. The Capitals now return home to host the Winnipeg Jets Monday night at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is 7:00 p.m. 

STARTERS
Philipp Grubauer (8-8-3, 2.35 GAA, .923 sv%) got the start in goal for the Capitals. Martin Jones (22-17-6, 2.49 GAA, .917 sv%) started in goal for the Sharks. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs:

Forwards:
Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson
Connolly-Backstrom-Burakovski
Vrana-Eller-Oshie
Stephenson-Boyd-Beagle
Defensive pairs:
Kempny-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Jerabek

Scratches: Madison Bowey, Alex Chiasson, Devante Smith-Pelly and Christian Djoos were the healthy scratches.

FIRST PERIOD
The first period would go scoreless, with the Sharks outshooting the Capitals 12-6 for the first 20 minutes. The Sharks held a slight advantage in zone time and scoring chances, as Philipp Grubauer was required to make three big saves to keep the game scoreless for the opening frame.

Washington won the battle at the dot winning 17-8, or 68% of the faceoffs for the period. The Sharks were o for 1 and the Capitals 0 for 0 on the power play for the first period.

SECOND PERIOD
After a mostly scoreless second period, Nicklas Backstrom would finally break the seal with a tally at 18:32 of the middle frame. Backstrom would wire a shot on the end of a beautiful feed from Brett Connolly.

The second period would conclude with the Capitals leading 1-0. The Capitals outshot the Sharks 12-3 for the middle frame, and led 18-15 after two periods of play.

THIRD PERIOD
The Caps would take a prevent defense stance for the duration of the final frame, as San Jose had numerous quality scoring chances, but could not ultimately dent the twine. Lars Eller would add an empty net goal with less than two minutes to play to give the Caps a 2-0 win.

SHAVINGS

  • Philipp Grubauer stopped all 24 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. Grubauer has stopped 554 of the last 590 shots he’s faced (.939 save percentage), the highest save percentage since Oct. 29 among goalies with at least 16 appearances.
  • Additionally, in his last six games, Grubauer has stopped 132 of the 137 shots he’s faced (.964 save percentage).
  • Lars Eller empty net goal marks his 100th goal of his career and his 15th of the season, one shy of tying his single season high (2011-12).
  • Capitals end seven-game losing streak in the state of California.
  • The NHL box score is here.

SCENES FROM SAN JOSE

Alaska! 🏔 #CapsSharks #ALLCAPS

A post shared by Washington Capitals (@capitals) on

Day hockey in a gloomy San Jose! #sjsharks #sharksterritory #SharksvsCaps

A post shared by Paul Novak (@sharksfanatic) on

Capitals at Sharks: Tom Wilson & Evander Kane

A post shared by Matt Cohen (@mattcohenphoto) on

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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10 Responses to Capitals Nip Sharks 2-0; Philipp Grubauer Pitches Second Shutout of the Season

  1. Anonymous says:

    GMBM should sign DSP for near the min… for 4 years… our top Fs are fine… I still think we need 1 or 2 better D

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. I find it hard to believe that DSP’s upside is so high that the Caps can afford to take minutes away from youngsters with more ability who need playing time in order to develop. Smith-Pelly has a great attitude and a work ethic to match, but my eye test tells me that he’s not much of a difference maker…certainly not enough to merit four more years here–minimum salary or not…

    C

    Like

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