James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
It was a forgettable Game 3 for the Washington Capitals in Raleigh on Monday evening. The Capitals lost Game 3 and were dominated in most areas on the ice. With Game 3 thankfully in the past, the Capitals will look to regroup for Game 4.
LINEUP ADJUSTMENTS COULD BE COMING
The Capitals have not received good play from the depth forward lines so far in the series. The Capitals third line has only recorded 1 goal, and the fourth line has recorded 0 points.
The Capitals need some more offensive punch from the depth forward lines if they plan to win this series. The Capitals could look to swap out some players in the bottom-six group to give Carolina a different look. Travis Boyd and Dmitrij Jaskin are two players are a couple of players the Capitals have on the ready in case changes to the forward group need to be made.
In addition to the depth forward group struggling, the Capitals coaching staff might look to adjust on the blueline. With the series already becoming very physical, the Capitals might look to play a more physical defenseman on the blueline. Jonas Siegenthaler is ready and available to the Capitals if the Capitals want to add more of a physical presence on the blueline.
SHOOTING THE PUCK
The Capitals were terrible with shot production in Game 3. The Capitals finished with just 18 shots on goal in Game 3, and only registered 1 shot on goal in the 2nd period.
The Capitals have struggled getting to the front of the net in this series. They are not crashing and banging and getting to the dirty areas in front of the net. The Capitals must fix their mindset, and must be willing to pay the price to get in front of Carolina’s net. If the Capitals can get in the dirty areas around the net, they will be able to get more second and third chances with loose pucks in front of Carolina’s net.
SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE
Another big difference in Game 3 involved the special teams battle. The Hurricanes kept the Capitals scoreless on the powerplay, and Carolina converted on two of their five powerplay chances.
The Capitals have a potent powerplay that has plenty of weapons, but it can become a momentum buzz kill if they do not convert on it.
The special teams battle is important in any playoff series. The Capitals have been haunted by powerplay woes in previous playoff years, so they must find a way to get back to basics and find the back of the net with the man advantage. If they can increase their shot production with the man advantage, that should help increase their chances of scoring a powerplay goal.
By: George Foussekis