Garden State Gloom: John Carlson Scores Lone Goal in Capitals’ 5-1 Loss to Devils

Photo: @Capitals/Twitter

The Washington Capitals fell to the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-1 Saturday night at Prudential Center. The loss dropped the Capitals’ record to 9-11-3 and 21 points on the season. Goaltender Charlie Lindgren made 24 saves in the loss.

Lines & Pairs

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Conor Sheary

Sonny Milano— Evgeny Kuznetsov — T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson — Lars Eller — Anthony Mantha

Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — John Carlson

Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen

Matt Irwin — Trevor van Riemsdyk

Charlie Lindgren

Scratches: Left-wing Joe Snively, right-wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and defenseman Alex Alexeyev

Injuries: Right-wing Tom Wilson (ACL), center Nicklas Backstrom (hip), center Carl Hagelin (hip), right-wing Connor Brown (ACL), right-wing Beck Malenstyn (finger), and defenseman Dmitry Orlov (lower-body)

First Period

The Devils would get on the board first on a power-play opportunity from captain Nico Hischier, making it 1-0 at the 9:20 mark.

Quick Stats

SOG: 10-7 Capitals

Face-Off Win %: 67% (Capitals), 33% (Devils)

Hits: 5-1 Devils

Second Period

Center Jack Hughes would extend the Devils’ lead, 2-0, at the 5:59 mark.

Nearing the halfway mark, Hughes would pot his second of the night to make it a 3-0 game in favor of New Jersey.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 23-20 Capitals

Face-Off Win %: 57% (Capitals), 43% (Devils)

Total Hits: 9-9

Third Period

Hughes would complete a natural hat trick with his third goal of the game at the 9:51 mark.

Carlson (6) would get Washington on the board, 4-1, at the 11:36 mark on a man advantage. Strome (12) and Johansson (5) assisted.

New Jersey’s lead would be extended, 5-1, with a goal from left-wing Fabian Zetterlund.

That would be the final.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 38-29 Capitals

Face-Off Win %: 51% (Devils), 49% (Capitals)

Total Hits: 11-11

Notes Through the Game

  • Carlson has recorded 41 points (9g, 32a) in 52 career games against the Devils, the most points he has recorded against a single franchise.
  • Strome’s nine power-play points rank second on Washington (Ovechkin: 11 points).
  • Johansson has recorded 10 points (5g, 5a) in 23 games this season.

The Capitals continue their season-long six-game road trip to Western Canada, clashing with the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday. NBC Sports Washington will have the coverage beginning at 10 PM ET.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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35 Responses to Garden State Gloom: John Carlson Scores Lone Goal in Capitals’ 5-1 Loss to Devils

  1. James W Lewis says:

    NJ is simply a superior team…period. The Caps are not competitive. Getting Orlov and Wilson back will help some, getting Brown back would help a lot (not happening). Getting NB19 back won’t make a bit of difference. I’ve rooted for many not-so-good teams. This is one of them.

  2. novafyre says:

    I’m not going to say anything about having a good goalie like the Devils do. I’m not going to say anything about having a good goalie like the Devils do. I’m not going

  3. Diane Doyle says:

    The game story could also be titled as “Bad Day At Black Rock” especially as Prudential Insurance’s old slogan was “Get a Piece of the Rock”.

    Of all the ironies, the Caps were better in the Advanced Stats department, Better CF%, FF%, xGF% etc. But that has been all too common the entire month of November. But the Devils are a superior team. There are folks who are saying “if the Caps continue to play like this, they’ll win”.

    But that was the story of the Bill Peters era Carolina Hurricanes. They would regularly out chance the opponents and get tons of shots on goal but lose 1-0. (For the record, I have a much better opinion of Peter L as a coach than I did of Bill Peters, who I detested as a coach.)

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

    • hockeydruid says:

      Jon charts like this and statements by the post game staff about how the Caps outplayed NJ are meaningless when you lose 5-1. This is a below average team and even with all the injured players back I dont see where it would make a difference as they are old, slow and rely on 38 to score to win most nights. Honestly it is time to get rid of the lame duck HC, replace the GM and start to trade players for younger players or picks and bring up the kids from Hershey. I would rather watch a team of young players lose than frankly these retreads and has beens. Should never have gotten rid of VV but instead have kept him and brought in a better goalie coach.

      • franky619 says:

        Caps are better with Kuemper than they would have been with Vanacek. Devils play better in front of him than the Caps play in front of their goaltender. Vanacek was’nt that good he’s been fighting the puck all night, it was luck more than skills that kept the puck out of his net at least half a dozen times. Plus he’s not playing more than 40 gms and probably missing the playoffs due to injury so Caps are better with Kuemper.

        • hockeydruid says:

          It is true that the Devils play better in front of VV than the Caps dod or how they play in front of either goalie. The Caps do ot deserve or need to be in the playoffs as they are, to put it very plainly a lousy team with a terrible HC and GM. The HC is a lame duck and has no control over the team especially when he is constantly changing things and not just due to injury. This Caps team is a sad excuse for a team and just a shell of what it used to be.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        I respectfully disagree, Druid. Yes, they do not reflect last nights scoreboard, but they aren’t meaningless. For the Caps, shots have been an issue all season. Over the last half dozen games, including last night, that has changed all for the good. They will lose games no matter how much they outshoot the opposition, but for long term health, this is a great sign.

        • hockeydruid says:

          Sorry Jon just tired of seeing a badly coached team that is old and slow and seems disjointed most nights lose again. I would rather see and can accept losing with younger players during a rebuild than with the same old, tired players and retreads. Im not worried about the number of shots as to me that is a meaningless stat. Lucky for me there were several good college games on last night as I only watched the first 2 periods. Im shocked that the GM didnt have the guts to fire the lame duck HC for Thanksgiving. TO be honest I hope that they dont make the playoffs and get a high pick to start to replace the tired, slow old, and retread players. The rebuild must begin and begin soon. I also want Ovie to get the scoring record but I wonder if he wants it on a team like this; badly coached and disjointed? TO be honest Im not interested in seeing Backy come back and play bad or Wilson come back, rather I would like to see several players traded and bring up the kids from Hershey. Win or lose those guys will be more entertaining.

          • Jon Sorensen says:

            No apologies necessary, Druid, I completely get your frustration, because I’m right there with you.

          • novafyre says:

            I would prefer to see a team that is a mix of young and old. Experience counts. Maroon was a great addition to Tampa. So was Ryan McDonagh. Darrell Green was a great mentor to Redskins rookies. Stamkos talks about what he learned from Vinnie and Martin.

            To me, Lavi doesn’t care much about the JV team, treading water until the varsity comes back. By then, it will be too late, will the varsity come back and in what shape?

  5. Anonymous says:

    It would help to keep Eller and Carlson off the ice and never on at the same time. Awful games. Yet Carlson gets props cause he scored. Forget the 4 he was on the ice for. And I love Osh even more for teaching that Devil a lesson about celebrating.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s hard to deal with Carlson’s (lack of) defense and his (valuable) offense.

    • I may McGee says:

      Young player, passionate, displays great excitement with every goal he scores. Not an “in your face” celebrator. Not showing off by, say, wearing different color laces. Oshie’s overreaction not warranted.

      • Anonymous says:

        Acted like he just won the cup rather than an add on goal in a blowout. Unnecessary and hopefully he was thought something for the future.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it was the system and not the goalies last year. Both seem to be doing ok this year.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Certainly hard to argue against that right now, or they have better blueliners.

      • Diane Doyle says:

        Devils probably have better blueliners. Toronto’s blueliners are dropping like flies, though. Morgan Reilly, Jake Muzzin, and Jamie Benn out long term. Muzzin may be done. TJ Brodie also out for at least the next week.

  7. hockeydruid says:

    The biggest problem is NJ has a GM who is proactive rather than like the Caps GM who is reactive or do nothing. They spent a ton on money on goalies and it just isnt working out. I have always thought that they should have kept VV and just gone out and gotten a better goalie coach. I honestly see no difference in VV and Kuemper; in fact I like VV better. Sorry to say this but Wash was outcoached and out played by NJ. When is the owner going to wake up and realize that his front office and coaching staff isnt worth anything. A good, fast, well coached young team is going to beat a team of has been who are coached by someone living in a different world all the time. this road trip is going to be very very bad for the Caps unless they can suddenly find lightening in a bottle and get their act together and the HC stop breaking what the players are trying to fix. Also sad to say but it looks like the HC has lost this team and if he has isnt it time to move on especially since he is a lame duck coach anyway?

    • James W Lewis says:

      We didn’t spend a ton of money on goalies. We spent a TON OF MONEY rewarding our SC champs with big money contracts that last way beyond those player’s prime years. I love all those guys and appreciate their rolls in bringing the SC to the District, BUT we now have most of our salary cap invested in older, injury prone players who are past their prime. We have no money to rebuild with anyone besides young, inexpensive players. Please note how long Tampa Bay held onto Lacavier and St. Louis after their first cup….not very long. They turned the page and started on their next cup.

      • Diane Doyle says:

        Actually, TB held on Lecavalier until the end of the 2012-13 season when they used a compliance buyout to buy out his insanely long contract. And they they traded away St Louis during the 2013-14 season when he and Yzerman did not see eye to eye. So actually held onto both their French Canadian stars for a long time. They did let Brad Richards go when the salary cap was instituted. But both Lecavalier and St Louis lived through the years where the team was terrible

        • novafyre says:

          With Coop as HC, the 2011–12 Norfolk Admirals won the Calder Cup and set a North American professional sports record for the longest regular season winning streak at 28 games in a row. Coop was honored as the AHL’s most outstanding head coach. When the Bolts changed their AHL affiliation to the Crunch, Coop went to Syracuse. In 65 games with the Crunch, Cooper led the team to a 39–18–3–5 record, the best in the AHL at the time. On March 25, 2013, Coop became the Bolt’s HC.

          He brought a number of AHL players up with him. He knew them, they knew him, they had all been successful (I think Killer may be the only one left). In 2008, Tampa drafted Steven Stamkos as #1 overall draft pick (which they had because of the terrible years). So I count the 2008 to 2013 years as their rebuilding period. They sucked, but Yzerman and Brisebois made the right moves for their future.

          Stammer credits Lecavalier and St Louis as both being great teachers and role models. He has said many times that he is grateful that they were there for his early years with the Lightning.

  8. Lance says:

    As expected, Caps lose big. Mantha, Eller, Carlson, Gustafsson all -3. Ovie -2.

    I thought they played a good team game with plenty of effort. We just can’t score and we’re a weak defensive team all over the rink. Strome and Kuzy are 2nd line centers. Good but far from elite at this point. Eller’s game appears to be dipping. Mantha is just not working out. Oshie is fantastic! Ovie can score. There’s not enough “D” in our D corps. Goalies are fine.

    BMac good sir, we are looking at a top 7 overall draft pick this year. Playoffs are out! Trade some vets for picks and we’ll try to stitch a borderline playoff contenda together this summer.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Like what you say except about being a border line playoff team this summer. A true rebuild, and that is what thi team needs, will take 3-5 years. With 14 UFA, RFA this summer they will be forced to rebuild. Hopefully they will do it with younger players and a better head coach and GM. Not interested in keeping the lame duck HC that we have now another day and take most of his staff with him. Keep Scott Allen and build your staff around him. As soon as Orlov gets back and plays a few games start the trading of the RFA and UFA to get picks or younger players. Its time to give up the fantasy of being a playoff team and start the much needed rebuild. Backy thanks for the years and I really enjoyed watching you play however your hip and being pain free are more important than a game; be with you family at home and continue to build a good life for yourself outside hockey. There is no need to hurt yourself just to play a game. I dont want a borderline playoff contender as that is what we have had the past few years. Gut this team and rebuild and let it take 3-5 years and then make a legit run at the Cup not get kicked in the teeth by younger faster teams in the first round.

      • Lance says:

        I agree, Druid. If the goal is to compete for a Stanley Cup asap then largely gutting the team and bring cellar dwellers for 3-4 years is the way to go. But with Ovie gunning for the goal scoring record Ted won’t accept that plan. This year’s team looks like they will finish with a top 10 pick. Hopefully we get a guy to play with Miroschnichenko.

        So I fully expect BMac to “retool” again over the summer. It won’t work. It’s clear now that too many Caps are well over the hill now. The Mantha idea, which I liked, has failed. I’d certainly trade him at the deadline. Retain salary for a good draft pick. We have plenty of guys in Hershey who will contribute almost as much as Mantha. Eller is winding down. No need to re-sign Orlov or Jensen at their age.

        So BMac might end up with high picks in spite of himself.

        Thank heavens we won in 2018. It’s gonna be awhile before we get another crack at it.

  9. Zoltan says:

    Again, the system does not work. Caps generate shots, but they are predictables. The system does not fit the conditions and age of the core team. Many injuries, many rush againts. Easy to play against Wahington. The same story in the last 3 years… Lavi should go!

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