What we were all expecting to be a decent win and a tie in the series was quite the opposite. The Washington Capitals fell to the New York Islanders by a score of 5-2 in Game 2 in the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. In our new “After Puck Drop” series, we’ll be taking a look at the postgame comments from players and head coach Todd Reirden.
Captain Alex Ovechkin scored the only two goals for the Capitals Friday night. The team’s lackluster performance was nothing new, however. “We’ve been in this situation,” Ovechkin said. “We know how to fight…we know how to play.”
Defenseman John Carlson said “a lot of things” must change. “We haven’t played those big moments well so far and we don’t sway the momentum when things aren’t going our way enough.”
Some may compare and contrast the 0-2 hole in this series to that of the 0-2 start in 2018 against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round One. Carlson was asked how he feels about the similarities. “I think we are confident in our team and totally unsatisfied with the way we’ve played…we are capable but we got to work for it.”
In reference to Ovechkin’s two-goal night, Reirden said they need more players like Ovechkin who are “playing at the top of their level.” A shakeup in line combinations sounds ideal. “I’m definitely going to look at all things,” the head coach said about making adjustments for Game 3, which is Sunday at 12 PM ET.
The absence of center Nicklas Backstrom (concussion protocol) was another clear issue. Reirden mentioned it’s not an “easy situation”. Although he did not make additional comments, Reirden said he is “hoping” Backstrom will be able to return for Sunday’s matchup.
Game 3 is Sunday with a 12 PM ET puck drop. Action from Toronto can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and USA Network. The Islanders lead the series 2-0.
By Della Young