Arvidsson, Predators Pound Capitals, 7-2

pr.jpgPhoto: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals lost to the Nashville Predators by a final score of 7-2 at Bridgestone Arena in Music City on Tuesday night after falling 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues at home last night. The loss put the Capitals 27-14-5 on the season and their 59 points are now tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 22 saves in the loss, his second start in as many nights, after posting 33 saves against the Blues on Monday. 

Capitals Lines at Predators

The Capitals made a lot of lineup changes after the loss to St. Louis at home last night. Centers Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov swapped spots in the lineup and center Nic Dowd and forward Dmitrij Jaskin drew into the lineup in favor of forwards Devante Smith-Pelly and Chandler Stephenson. Defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler drew into the lineup in favor of Madison Bowey. Forward T.J. Oshie suited up in his 700th career NHL game.

Goaltender Juuse Saros started for Nashville.

First Period

Forward Viktor Arvidsson sniped a shot glove side on Copley after getting sent on a breakaway by defenseman Matthias Ekholm to make it 1-0 Nashville 3:45 into the game. They entered the game with a 21-2-1 record when opening the scoring, the best in the NHL.

Center Nick Bonino buried a two-on-one with center Colton Sissons, beating Copley blocker side to make it 2-0 with 9:27 left in the first.

The Capitals led 9-5 in hits, 6-2 in blocked shots, and had two giveaways while Nashville had four in the first period. They won 59% of the draws in the opening frame.

The Predators led 9-8 in shots and 4-1 in takeaways after one.

Second Period

Arvidsson deflected defenseman P.K. Subban’s point shot in front of the net 1:21 in to make it 3-0 Predators.

Center Nicklas Backstrom tipped in defenseman John Carlson’s shot from the point at the left post to cut the lead to 3-1 on the power-play 7:07 into the period.

Arvidsson capped the hat trick going five-hole on a breakaway after center Ryan Johansen picked Backstrom’s pocket when he was trying to enter the offensive zone on the man advantage with 7:52 to go in the middle frame.

Forward Rocco Grimaldi made it 5-1 with 5:03 left going spin-o-rama and Seigenthaler and beating Copley under the blocker.

Wilson released his frustration on Predators forward Austin Watson and took him to the ground with 3:52 left in the second period.

Bonino tipped in Ekholm’s shot in front of Copley with 5.8 seconds left to make it 6-1.

The Capitals led 17-10 in hits, 10-4 in blocked shots, and had only five giveaways while Nashville had nine.

Despite a lopsided score, the Predators led only 20-18 in shots, including 11-10 in the second period, 8-5 in takeaways, and won 55% of the faceoffs through 40 minutes.

Each team had two power-play opportunities in the first two periods. The Capitals were able to convert on one of them, unlike the Predators.

Third Period

Forward Calle Jarkrok made it 7-1 with 12:04 left with a snipe from the slot.

Oshie finished a give-and-go with center Evgeny Kuznetsov, going under the blocker of Saros with 3:49 to go for his 14th goal of the season.

The Capitals led 27-11 in hits, 17-8 in blocked shots, had only eight giveaways while Nashville had nine, and won 51% of the faceoffs. Washington went 1-for-2 on the power-play.

The Predators led only 29-27 in shots and 12-7 in takeaways. Nashville went 0-for-5 on the power-play.

Each team recorded nine shots in the third period.

The Capitals next host the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena on Friday night in former head coach Barry Trotz’s return to the Nation’s Capital for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup. Action from Chinatown can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7:30 PM.

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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