Capitals Cough Up Third-Period Lead Again, Fall 6-5 To Predators; Alex Ovechkin Nets Two Power-Play Goals

John Russell:Getty ImagesPhoto: John Russell/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Nashville Predators by a score of 6-5 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night for their seventh consecutive loss to the Predators (0-6-1). The loss was the Capitals’ first in regulation this season and put them at a 2-1-2 record, which matches their record in the first five games from a season ago. Goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 38 shots in the loss.

Capitals’ Lines at Predators

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After falling 4-3 in overtime to the Dallas Stars for their second consecutive loss on Tuesday night, the Capitals flipped centers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller in the lineup. Forward Chandler Stephenson also drew in for center Nic Dowd, who was a healthy scratch against the Predators.

First Period

Center Lars Eller finished forward Garnet Hathaway’s cross-crease pass at the goalmouth while goaltender Pekka Rinne was swimming in the net to open the scoring for the Capitals 9:17 into the game.

Forward Filip Forsberg tied it for the Predators on a breakaway, going backhand, forehand, and tucking the puck in 1:22 after Eller struck for his fourth goal in as many games this season.

The Capitals led 5-1 in hits, 7-3 in blocked shots, and had one giveaway while the Predators had four in the opening frame. They went 0-for-1 on the power-play in the first.

The Predators led 13-9 in shots and won 55% of the draws in the first period. They went 0-for-2 on the man advantage in the first.

Second Period

Captain Alex Ovechkin bombed one from just above his office on the power-play on a one-timer after getting a feed from defenseman John Carlson from up top to put the Capitals in front 2-1 4:46 into the period.

Center Ryan Johansen beat Holtby to the far-side from the wing after getting a cross-ice pass from forward Viktor Arvidsson to tie the game right back up again for the Predators at 7:37 elapsed time.

Forward Tom Wilson called his own number on a shorthanded two-on-one rush with forward Chandler Stephenson and roofed the puck over Rinne’s glove to restore the Capitals’ one-goal lead with 7:32 to go in the second.

Ovechkin beat Rinne to the glove-side once again from the office on the power-play after getting fed by Carlson at the point to extend the Capitals’ lead to 4-2 with 2:24 left in the period.

The Capitals led 13-8 in blocked shots, 9-6 in hits, 10-5 in takeaways, and only had one giveaway while the Predators had six through 40 minutes of play. They went 2-for-3 on the power-play in the first two periods.

The Predators led 22-16 in shots, including 9-7 in the second, and won 54% of the faceoffs in the first two periods. They failed to convert on three power-play opportunities in the first 40 minutes.

Third Period

Johansen poked home Arvidsson’s shot through the wickets of Holtby to get the Predators within one on the power-play 5:03 into the third.

Center Matt Duchene one-timed Forsberg’s feed from the slot at the circle to even the score for the Predators 1:08 later.

Forward T.J. Oshie grabbed the lead back for the Capitals, ripping a shot under Rinne’s blocker from the right dot, after defenseman Dmitry Orlov picked the Predators’ pocket at their blueline and fed him with 9:51 left.

Center Nick Bonino tied the game with 5:08 left off a Capitals skate and Holtby’s glove before it squeaked into the net after getting a pass from the side.

Defenseman Matthias Ekholm blasted one past Holtby’s blocker through a screen from the point 28 seconds later to give Nashville the 6-5 lead.

The Capitals led 15-10 in blocked shots, 12-8 in hits, 10-5 in takeaways, and only had two giveaways while the Predators had eight. They went 2-for-4 on the power-play and won 52% of the faceoffs.

The Predators led 35-23 in shots, including 13-7 in the third, and went 1-for-4 on the power play.

The Capitals close out their short two-game road-trip against the Stars on Saturday night. Action from American Airlines Center can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 8 PM ET.

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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4 Responses to Capitals Cough Up Third-Period Lead Again, Fall 6-5 To Predators; Alex Ovechkin Nets Two Power-Play Goals

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