Capitals’ Seven-Game Point-Streak Ends With 5-2 Loss To Kraken; Tom Wilson Scores First Goal vs. Seattle In Franchise History

Photo: Christopher Mast/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals saw their seven-game point-streak (6-0-1) end on Sunday night when they lost 5-2 to the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken snapped a six-game losing streak, at Climate Pledge Arena. This was the first meeting between the two franchises.

The Capitals finished their four-game Pacific Division road trip with a 2-1-1 record. The loss kept the Capitals in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind of the Carolina Hurricanes (who have three games in hand). Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 26 saves against the team that selected him in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft but traded him back to the Capitals one week later.

Capitals’ Lines at Kraken

Photo: @Capitals

Injured: C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, missed 19th straight game), LW Anthony Mantha (shoulder, ninth), RW T.J. Oshie (lower-body, 11th in past 12), LW Conor Sheary (lower-body, first, day-to-day)

Center Lars Eller also missed his fourth straight game on COVID-19 protocol. Right-wing Brett Leason replaced Oshie in the lineup. Right-wing Garnet Hathaway bumped up a line. Leason skated in Hathaway’s usual spot. Defenseman Dennis Cholowski, whom the Capitals claimed off of waivers from the Kraken on October 12 and the Kraken picked in the expansion draft as their selection from the Detroit Red Wings, made his debut with his new team as the Capitals dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

First Period

After center Evgeny Kuznetsov forced a turnover by Kraken defenseman Jeremy Lauzon below the goal-line, he set up right-wing Tom Wilson, who ripped one past the blocker of former Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer to open the scoring 3:34 in.

Center Jarred McCann stuffed in a backhand shot in front that deflected off of Capitals center Nic Dowd and past the blocker of Vanecek in a goal-mouth scramble to tie it on a power-play with 4:02 left.

The Capitals led 6-4 in blocked shots, had two giveaways while the Kraken had four, and did not score on their lone power play of the first.

The Kraken led 14-11 in shots, 7-3 in hits, 4-2 in takeaways, and struck on their only opportunity on the man advantage of the period.

The teams split the battle at the faceoff dot through 20 minutes.

Second Period

Left-wing Jaden Schwartz finished off a feed from center Colin Blackwell from the point backdoor on a delayed penalty during a shift where the Kraken were swarming the offensive zone at 6:17 to make it 2-1.

43 seconds later, defenseman Adam Larsson buried a cross-ice pass from center Yanni Gourde, who was along the half-wall, at the side of the net to extend the Kraken’s lead to two.

Right-wing Calle Jarnkrok ripped one to the top corner over the glove of Vanecek on a two-on-two rush to give the Kraken a 4-1 lead with 6:09 to go.

The Capitals led 7-5 in blocked shots, had four giveaways while the Kraken had six, did not take advantage of two power plays, and won 53% of the draws through 40 minutes.

The Kraken led 23-16 in shots, including 9-5 in the second, 17-11 in hits, 7-2 in takeaways, and scored on their lone power play in the first two periods.

Third Period

After picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, captain Alex Ovechkin roared into the offensive zone and ripped one past the glove of Grubauer from the slot to cut the Kraken’s lead in half 3:09 into the third. The goal was Ovechkin’s 15th goal of the season, including 11th at even strength (tied with Winnipeg Jets left-wing Kyle Connor for most in the NHL). Wilson earned his fourth multi-point game of the season with an assist on the play. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov earned the primary assist (five of his six helpers have been primary).

Gourde added an empty netter from center ice to make it 5-2 with 28.5 seconds left.

The Capitals led 39-31 in shots, including 23-8 in the third period, had seven giveaways while the Kraken had nine, won 52% of the draws, and did not take advantage of four power plays.

The Kraken led 29-28 in shots, 21-17 in hits, 12-7 in blocked shots, 8-2 in takeaways, and scored on their lone power play.

Next game: vs. Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington)

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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