The Capitals had a decent start in Edmonton on Thursday night, but as the game wore on, the hometown Oilers climbed back into the contest, took an early lead, capitalized on Capitals mistakes and put the game away. (game recap here). Not a great showing for the Stanley Cup Champions. The NHL box score is here. Shot stats are from Natural Stat Trick, which can be found here.
The Capitals will next face an angry Calgary Flames team on Saturday, who were scorched by the Pittsburgh Penguins 9-1, in front of their hometown folks on Thursday night. Puck drop on Saturday is 4:00 PM ET.
A tough night for the Capitals top defensive pair of Michal Kempny and John Carlson. Kempny was called for a pair of early penalties, the first leading to the Oilers first goal. John Carlson had an extremely poor turnover that led to the Oilers second goal, a short-handed score.
To add insult to injury, former Capital Alex Chiasson would get in on the scoring and the night quickly became a “burn the tape” game.
The “silver lining” award goes to Andre Burakovsky, who registered his first goal of the season on five shots in the game. Burakovaky had seven shots on goal through the first eight games of the season. Andre had 10:45 of ice time, which was the second-least amount of minutes (Dmitrij Jaskin: 8:08). Andre looked relatively dialed-in.
The Capitals jumped out to a huge lead in shot attempts (26-9) after 20 minutes of play, but the Oilers would eventually claw their way back. Shot attempts were 20-16 in favor of the Oilers in the middle frame, and even in the third periods at 16-16. The chance for the Capitals was in the opening frame, yet they trailed 1-0 after one period of play.
Running Shot Differential
The running shot differential shows the Capitals taking over after the three-minute mark, for the remainder of the first period, but Edmonton evening things out as the game progressed. Shots on goal (SOG) for the game were 32-32. SOG for the first period were 9-9. Edmonton led 14-9 in the second period. The Capitals led 14-9 in the final frame.
The Capitals won the battle at the dot 57-43% for the game (won 34 of 60). Backstrom won 10 of 14 for 71%, Eller was 8 of 16 for 50%, Dowd was 6 of 10 for 60% and Kuznetsov was 8 of 17 for 47%, the only Capital under 50%.
The Capitals were 11 for 18 in offensive zone draws, 14 for 24 in the defensive zone and 9 of 18 in the neutral zone.
The Capitals were 0 for 1 and the Oilers 1 for 4 on the power play. The Capitals gave up a short-handed goal on their only power play of the game.
By Jon Sorensen