Stars at Capitals – Inside the Numbers: Lipstick on a Pig

Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

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.

Our complete game recap can be found here. The NHL box score can be found here. Stats provided by Natural Stat Trick are here.

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.


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

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Stars at Capitals – Inside the Numbers: Lipstick on a Pig

  1. J says:

    Where this game was won&lost
    1, Giveaways, our own end, defense, bad puck management. 12 games in and its pretty much the same trend after every game win or lose.
    After the 1st period it was 11 giveaways to 4 and Caps were down 0-2. Midway through the 1st Holtby had already faced 6 high danger, high quality chances so this team just doesnt care right now or fact that not having Willy nightly for 20 gms to throw the hits& energy is making them this shitty? But thats hard to believe. Or just sloppy play so far. But anyway too often early they are chasing games like tonight because careless giveaways& fumbling pucks behind&around Holtby or tonight a rare Holtby mistake.
    You had Spezza breakaway off a turnover, Holtby turnover, then fumbled puck by Carlson I believe it was.
    2, Give them credit for salvaging 1 point, and I think most who watched the game agree the Jaskin,Conno line was the best line for the caps. They were hardworking, physical scored, you know all the little things& big things you want to see from your lines, not just skating in circles, fancy passes you get often from OV,Kuzy line hoping to light up the opponent. Thats why Id be for putting Jaskin up there with them a physical presence mini Willy type. Try it until Willy returns.
    3, rash of Garbage calls in OT hurt help give Stars momentum&win

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Giveaways indeed. I can’t recall the last time I saw the Caps defense look so poor, and that includes all six. Passing was atrocious, turnovers leading to goals.

  2. Pingback: Edmonton at Washington Preview: Capitals Look to Get Back On Track Against Red Hot Oilers | NoVa Caps

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