Capitals Fall In Florida, 5-2

Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Florida Panthers by a score of 5-2 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise on Tuesday night. It was the teams’ first meeting since Florida eliminated Washington in six games during last season’s first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series. The loss dropped Washington’s record to 7-9-2. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 38 saves in the defeat.

Capitals’ Lines at Florida

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Sonny Milano
Marcus Johansson – Dylan Strome – Conor Sheary
Joe Snively – Lars Eller – Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — John Carlson
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: C Connor McMichael, D Alexander Alexeyev

Injured: RW Connor Brown (ACL, missed 14th straight game, out indefinitely); D Dmitry Orlov (lower-body, fifth, day-to-day); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 18th, indefinite); RW Tom Wilson (ACL, 18th, indefinite); C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, 18th, indefinite);  RW T.J. Oshie (lower-body, ninth, indefinite); LW Beck Malenstyn (finger, seventh, week-to-week)

Suspended: RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel (second of three)

The team flipped Milano and Johansson in the top-six forward group after their 6-3 loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. Snively drew in in favor of McMichael.

Florida’s Lines

Carter Verhaeghe – Aleksander Barkov – Matthew Tkachuk
Ryan Lomberg – Anton Lundell – Sam Reinhart
Eetu Luostarinen – Sam Bennett — Colin White
Nick Cousins – Eric Staal — Patric Hornqvist

Gustav Forsling — Brandon Montour
Marc Staal — Aaron Ekblad
Josh Mahura — Radko Gudas

Sergei Bobrovsky
Spencer Knight

Scratched: N/A

Injured: RW Anthony Duclair (Achilles, 16th, indefinite)


First Period

Scoring

5:45, 1-0 Florida: After Ovechkin chipped the puck ahead in the defensive zone, Barkov caught it at the blue line, stepped in, and fired a shot through the five-hole of Kuemper from the high slot.

Shots: 21-8 Florida

Other notable stats: Washington won 77% of the draws and led 15-9 in hits in addition to 7-3 in blocked shots.


Second Period

Scoring

3:46, 2-0 (PPG): After Kuemper steered aside Ekblad’s wrister from just above the right dot with the left pad, Reinhart caught the puck with the blade of his stick and shoveled it into an open net.

15:04, 2-1: After Snively zipped to the offensive blueline from his own end, he dropped the puck back to Strome, who stepped in and ripped it to the top right corner. The 25-year-old has scored Washington’s opening goal in three games this season, which is tied with Ovechkin and Dowd for the most on the team.

Shots: 34-21 Florida (including 13-12 in the second)

Other notable stats: Washington went 0-for-four on the power-play while Florida scored on their lone opportunity. Washington led 20-19 in hits, 10-7 in blocked shots, and won 57% of the faceoffs.


Third Period

Scoring

7:02, 3-1: After a turnover by Washington in the right corner, Tkachuk fed Forsling at the top. Forsling faked a shot and passed to Cousins down low before Cousins swept the puck past the left pad of Kuemper while falling.

11:15, 3-2: Carlson deflected Gustafsson’s feed from the left dot in front to the top right corner after Gustafsson got the puck and pinched.

17:00, 4-2: With Kuemper down and out, Verhaeghe buried a backhander in front after an attempted cross-crease pass to Barkov got broken up by Fehervary’s skate. Verhaeghe found the loose puck.

18:36, 5-2 (empty-net goal): Verhaeghe skated ahead after Tkachuk chipped one to him at the blueline, skated in, and scored on the empty net.

Shots: 43-42 Florida (21-7 Washington in the third)

Other notable stats: Washington won 55% of the draws but failed to convert on five power plays, had 10 giveaways while Florida earned 11, and led 24-23 in hits. Florida led 17-14 in blocked shots.

Next game: Thursday at St. Louis Blues (8 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

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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11 Responses to Capitals Fall In Florida, 5-2

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Somehow this one was more frustrating of a loss. They were knocking on the door pretty hard. Power play 0 for 5 was the difference.

  2. Della Young says:

    Players-only meeting needed? Yes, no, maybe so?

    • novafyre says:

      I thought the effort was there (wasn’t in Tampa). Were the mistakes on the players or on the coaches? If players, meeting. If coaches, no.

      • Della Young says:

        I think it’s a mix of both frankly. Yeah, the effort was there, but it’s not there the full sixty minutes. The first two-three months of the season are crucial for success later on, but unfortunately for the Capitals, there’s no consistency and even spark all the way through. I know we’re still somewhat early on the season, but it’s concerning if they can’t turn it around. We’ll get steamrolled in the later half of the season. I don’t think it’d hurt to have a players meeting, but I guess we’ll have to see what happens.

      • Anonymous says:

        No question. You will occasionally lose games where you play well, but when you are losing games, it makes the occasional loss that you played well sting a little more.

    • Lance says:

      Della, I think the team is doing its best to play Laviolette’s system and it’s just not working. I haven’t seen any attitude problems or serious lack of effort. We just don’t have the personnel to play this style of hockey.

  3. novafyre says:

    As you say, even on shots, Cats scored on single PP while Caps got zip on five. Strome led the Caps in least amount of 5on5 ice time. Don’t want him on the ice do we?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Crap!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good effort by the boys. Slow first 10, but it was mostly the Caps after.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The power play is maddening. 4 of 5 in one game, then 0 for 21 after that.

  7. Jon Sorensen says:

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