The Capitals turned in another spotty effort against the Stars on Saturday night. The game was marred by numerous defensive blunders, some leading directly to goals. Despite the disjointed effort, the Caps rallied, tied the game and managed to squeeze a point out of the evening. However, for some perspective. The Capitals are now 5-4-3 on the season. Last season after 12 games, the Capitals were 5-6-1.
Brooks Orpik missed a second-straight game due to injury. As a result Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey made-up the bottom defensive pair. Jakub Vrana remained on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Andre Burakovsky remained on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
The Capitals gave up two quick goals in the opening frame, and spent the remainder of the game, chasing the score. The Capitals would finally tie it up 3-3 late, but lose the game in overtime.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (POSSESSION)
It was one of those nights, where the blunders outweighed the shot attempts. The Capitals out-attempted the Stars in all three periods, and 58-36 for the game. However, The Stars led in shots on goal 37-32 for the game.
Alex Ovechkin and Matt Niskanen led the Caps with 4 SOG each. Brett Connolly, Dmitrij Jaskin, Nicklas Backstrom, Lars Eller and Michal Kempny each had 3 SOG.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (DIFFERENTIAL)
SHOT ATTEMPTS (LOCATION)
The Capitals continue to be soft in front of their own goal. Teams are setting up with little fear in front of the net. Some of this is likely due to the absence of Brooks Orpik.
Holtby stopped 33 of 37 shots for an .892 save percentage. Bishop stopped 29 of 32 for a .906 save percentage.
Kudos to Caps penalty kill in this game. Dallas was 0 for 2 on the power play. The Capitals were 1 for 2 on the power play. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the power play goal. All six of his goals this season have come on the power play.
The Capitals won the faceoff battle 53-47%. Alex Ovechkin was 1 for 1, Nicklas Backstrom was 10 for 19 (53%), Lars Eller was 8 for 13 (62%), Devante Smith-Pelly was 1 for 1, Nic Dowd was 2 for 5 (40%), Andre Burakovsky was 0 for 2, T.J. Oshie was 2 for 3 (67%) and Evgeny Kuznetsov was 7 for 14 (50%).
The 4th line is seeing very little ice time: Chandler Stephenson (7:10), Nic Dowd (8:24) and Devante Smith-Pelly (7:48) are barely working up a sweat. Dowd, who was partly brought in to help with faceoffs, has been less than 50% the last few games, and is currently at 47% at the dot on the season. The 4th line needs a shakeup. Look for Travis Boyd to replace Dowd in a game next week, likely as early as Monday.
By Jon Sorensen