Capitals Fall To Predators, 5-4; Richard Panik Scores Twice

Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Nashville Predators 5-4 Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. The Capitals would strike first with a goal from Richard Panik midway through the opening frame, but the Preds would respond with three unanswered goals for a 3-1 lead. Alex Ovechkin would pot a late tally in the initial stanza to make it 3-2 at the first intermission. Richard Panik would tie the game early in the middle frame with his second goal of the contest and Tom Wilson would add a power play goal to make it 4-3 at the second intermission. The Predators would tie the game early in the final frame with a shorthanded goal. The Predators would regain the lead with a goal by Yannick Weber with five minutes remaining in regulation to make it 5-4. That would be the final. The loss drops the Capitals record to 34-12-5 (73 points).

GAME STATS

STARTERS
Braden Holtby (19-9-0-4, 3.05 GAA, .899 sv%) started between the pipes for Washington. Juuse Saros (6-8-0-4, 3.13 GAA, .895 sv%) got the start in goal for visiting Nashville. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Travis Boyd

FIRST PERIOD
The Capitals struck first with a snipe from Richard Panik (6) at 9:28 of the first frame. Carl Hagelin (10) had the lone assist.

The Preds would answer just 47 seconds later with a goal from Jarred Tinordi at 10:15 of the first frame.

The Preds would take their first lead with a power play goal from Mikael Granlund (10) at 12:52 of the opening period.

The Preds would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a goal from Rocco Grimaldi (9) at 16:02 of the first frame.

The Capitals would quickly answer with a goal from Alex Ovechkin (35) at 16:26 of the first frame. The goal was unassisted.

The first period would conclude with Nashville leading 3-2. Washington led in shots on goal 15-7 for the first frame. The Capitals led in shot attempts 17-11 for the first period. Washington was 0 for 2 and the Predators 1 for 1 on the power play in the first frame.

SECOND PERIOD
The Capitals would tie the game early in the middle frame with a goal from Richard Panik (7) at 6:01 of the middle frame, his second tally of the evening.

The Capitals would grab their first lead with a power play goal from Tom Wilson (16) at 11:06 of the second period. Lars Eller (18) and Alex Ovechkin (17) had the helpers.

The second period would conclude with the Capitals leading 4-3. The Capitals led in shots on goal 14-7 in the middle frame and 29-14 after two periods.

THIRD PERIOD
The Predators would tie the game with a shothanded goal from Ryan Johansen (11) at 3:00 of the final frame. Braden Holtby failed to connect on an exit pass that was picked-off by Johansen, who followed-up with a close-range snipe.

The Predators would retake the lead with a goal from Yannick Weber (1) at 15:23 for a 5-4 lead.

That would be the game winner.

The Capitals are back in action on Friday when they visit the Senators in Ottawa.

SHAVINGS

  • Tom Wilson gave the Capitals a 4-3 lead with his second power play goal in his last two games.
  • Alex Ovechkin now sits two goals shy of passing Mark Messier (694) for the eighth most goals in NHL history.

SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT

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Caps paying tribute to Kobe…🙏🏽

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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18 Responses to Capitals Fall To Predators, 5-4; Richard Panik Scores Twice

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    It’s it’s it’s … Monty Hole-by’s Flying Circus! Starring that slam-dunk Vezina Finalist, Braden Hole-by! Goals galore! For the other team! Gives up Soft Ones – and Hard Ones too! Print the Stanley Cup Finals tickets! Monty Hole-by’s Flying Circus for Conn Smythe — for sure!

    Getting tired of this broken record yet? It won’t stop, because $500/hr Future Hall of Famer Washington Capitals Head Coach Todd Reirden thinks it’s just GRAND to keep sending Monty Hole-by’s Flying Circus out there. He needs to “find his game,” you see.

    Yet another disgusting display by the anti-Caps tonight. Richard Panik did pretty well … but Monty Hole-by’s Flying Circus gave it right back, right on schedule. Good hard work brought that 4-3 lead on four straight hard-work goals.

    All for naught! As Monty Hole-by’s Flying Circus flings that hamburger pass right on Johanson’s stick … making the slumping Center look like Luc Robitaille. We know this garbage will continue all season, because $500/hr Future Hall of Famer Washington Capitals Head Coach Todd Reirden will deliver us Monty Hole-by’s Flying Circus at least fifteen more times before Game 82

  2. Clifford Keefe says:

    I feel your pain, Day-O’…Holtby’s frequent up-and-down performances in recent years have dismayed\vexed\puzzled\angered\disgusted me as well. He has plenty of defensive support in front of (and around) him–not to mention several years of experience playing in high-stakes games…He gives up goals between his legs as well as on the short side of both goal posts….it’s just weird to me since we’re always told he is such a master of concentration and sustained focus under pressure…

    Beats the sh*t out of me…

    As for our games with the Preds, any game where former Caps’ jewel Filip Forsberg is kept off the score sheet makes our losses to them feel a little less bad–but if he scores, our losses to them make me feel that much worse…

    Clifford

    • Diane Doyle says:

      Except Caps can NEVER manage to keep Forsberg off the score sheet. He had two assists which makes me once again curse that trade despite the fact we wouldn’t have Oshie had we kept Forsberg

      • Anonymous says:

        Diane, I am big on TJ but GMGM should have gotten much more for FF…. I hated the trade then and now and will always… but TJ is a million cheaper…

      • Clifford Keefe says:

        I didn’t look at the score sheet (I was afraid to risk seeing that Forsberg lit the lamp…and yes, I avoid looking at Caps telecasts when we play the Preds…that trade still hurts THAT much…)

        I remember the press briefing when our beat writers asked George McPhee what possessed him to trade away the jewel of our farm system for Mike Latta and a 31 year old Preds forward who’d never scored 23 goals up to that point…Do you recall GMGM’s answer???

        “Because I want to win NOW…” That was McPhee’s response…

        All I could think to myself at the time was, “What dumb ass, looking at our roster back then, could possibly conclude that adding a pair of immortals like Michael Latta and Martin Erat to it would culminate in a Stanley Cup???? I’m guessing that our early exit from the playoffs that year was part of the reason why Ted Leonsis eventually made McPhee his next pink slip victim…

        Don’t get me wrong…I love TJ Oshie TO DEATH…Besides playing pretty much every aspect of the game at a high level I also think he’s a force in our locker room as well. But I have to think that if you’re an astute GM you find ways to keep talent like Filip Forsberg–especially because back then our pipeline didn’t have much in the way of high end scoring forward prospects…

        The bottom line is that GM’s around the NHL (and in all sports for that matter) sit up nights trying to figure out ways to steal prospects like that from other general managers who don’t really know what they have…

        David Poile probably soiled his trousers with glee after the ink was dry on that transaction…

        Clifford

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      We need Holts down the stretch, regardless as a starter or backup. It’s concerning from a big picture perspective as well. I feel for Holts from a human standpoint, as each goal he allows is dollars out of his pocket next season, regardless of who he signs with. I mean, how much is he gonna garner on the open market at this point?

      • CLIFFORD BURTON says:

        We need the Braden Holtby who tended goal for us from 2014 through 2017 during which he posted something like 22 shutouts and a save percentage close to 93%. My guess is that, for whatever set of reasons, he can no longer consistently come up with those kinds of performances anymore even though–at age 30–he’s hardly a greybeard…As I’ve said previously I think Samsonov has what it takes to be a top shelf goalie…That Braden has done great things for this franchise is incontestable. But I have confidence in Ilya–more than I do in Braden over the long haul–and even currently, to be honest…

        We’ll see…

        Cliff

      • Clifford Keefe says:

        We need the Braden Holtby who tended goal for us from 2014 through 2017 during which he posted something like 22 shutouts and a save percentage close to 93%. My guess is that, for whatever set of reasons, he can no longer consistently come up with those kinds of performances anymore even though–at age 30–he’s hardly a greybeard…

        As I’ve said previously, I think Samsonov has what it takes to be a top shelf goalie…That Braden has done great things for this franchise is incontestable. But I have confidence in Ilya–more than I do in Braden over the long haul–or even currently, to be honest…Holtby’s been playing like he’s got Steve Sax\Mackey Sasser\Steve Blass\Jordan Spieth-type yips much too often lately…

        I hope I’m dead wrong about him, but we’ll see…

        Cliff

  3. hockeydruid says:

    Dang….the score should have been 4-1 but thanks to having a goalie whose head was somewhere other than in the game in both the first and third periods we lose 5-4. Its about time that Samsonov gets the majority of playing time and let Holtby play 1 game a week and one of the games when we have to play a back-to-back. To be honest I think this thing about his contract for next year is bothering him more than people realize. Its a shame that we couldnt just trade him to Seattle now.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Good point, Druid, and not mentioned much. Who knows how much his current contract situation is weighing on him at this point. He has to be thinking about it, even a little. Not a comfortable spot to be in.

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    This is definitely a game the Caps should have won. They were outshooting Nashville by a lot most of the way. The power play, as usual, was a disgrace, giving up a shortie once again. In fairness, they scored on the PP once

    On the goalie situation, I recommend play Samsonov against Pittsburgh. I realize it’s chancey to play a rookie goalie against the league’s best team. But Holtby’s been less than reliable, as of late.

    I wonder if the heavy workload over a long period of time has taken a toll on Holtby in the long run. I also wonder if his aging curve is like that of Jose Theodore. Theodore had won a Vezina Trophy for Montreal. At age 29, Theodore had a particularly bad year and the Habs traded him to the Avalanche. I would not advocated trading Holtby, otherwise, we’d have to rely on another rookie (Vanacek) as his backup, which is dicey.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wish they’d bench the power play boss, the goalie coach could do more good for their game.

      Infuriatingly dumb penalties also cost them – they need a penalty jar, where everyone contributes $10K per penalty.

  5. Marky says:

    Well that was a Fecal Feista!

  6. ty wy says:

    Caps defense and Ovies drive won the Cup, not Holtby.

  7. James Lewis says:

    Holts has been a great Cap. No question; and every Cap fan owes him gratitude for his contribution to the fine teams we’ve enjoyed for the past many years. That said – we won’t resign him at the end of the season. Next year’s goalies look to be the next generation of super Cap’s goalies. Check out the Flyers if you aren’t convinced how lucky we are to have had all of them.

    GMBM is greatly constrained in his ability to improve the team at the trade deadline by salary cap issues. Trading Holtby removes those constraints.

    At this point, Holtby should be viewed as a back up. Will GMBM be willing to retain his very experienced back up goalie in favor of having a lot of ability to improve the team for its Cup run? The time is now – Vrana’s development notwithstanding, this team is on the backside of its elite status.

    • Marky says:

      Excellent post James. I wonder if GMBM would have the stones to do something like you are suggesting? I don’t think I could but if they get/have a good solution to the backup goaltender, I don’t think your idea is the worst one in the world.

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