Trap Game: Washington Suffers 4-1 Setback To San Jose

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the San Jose Sharks by a score of 4-1 at Capital One Arena on Super Bowl Sunday to stay one three point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins (who have three games in hand) and two in front of the New York Islanders (with a game in hand). Goaltender Charlie Lindgren made 29 saves in the loss.

Washington’s Lines vs. San Jose

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Conor Sheary — Evgeny Kuznetsov — T.J. Oshie
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Marcus Johansson
Aliaksei Protas — Lars Eller — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Martin Fehervary

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Alexander Alexeyev

Injured: D John Carlson (upper-body, missed 19th straight game, out indefinitely); RW Connor Brown (ACL, 51st, indefinite); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 55th, indefinite); C Nic Dowd (lower-body, ninth, indefinite); RW Tom Wilson (lower-body, fifth, day-to-day); LW Anthony Mantha (illness, first, day-to-day)

Protas replaced Mantha in the team’s lone line change from their 2-1 win over the NHL-leading Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

San Jose’s Lines

Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Noah Gregor
Michael Eyssimont — Logan Couture — Alexander Barabonov
Nick Bonino — Nico Sturm — Oskar Lindblom
Evgeny Svechnikov — Steven Lorentz — Jonah Gadjovich

Scott Harrington — Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Matt Benning
Jacob MacDonald — Mario Ferraro

Kaapo Kahkonen
Aaron Dell

Scratched: RW Kevin Labanc, D Nick Cicek

Injured: C Luke Kunin (knee, 23rd, season); D Markus Nutivaara (lower-body, 54th, indefinite); D Radim Simek (upper-body, 16th, day-to-day); G James Reimer (illness, first, day-to-day)

First Period


2:54, 1-0 San Jose: Svechnikov wristed one from the right dot glove-side after getting sent down the wing after San Jose picked up the puck at the red line.

Shots: 9-7 Washington

Other Notable Stats: Both teams failed to score on one full power play and tallied six hits. San Jose won 60% of the faceoffs, had two giveaways while Washington recorded three, and led 2-1 in takeaways.

Second Period


9:04, 2-0: Barabonov blasted a shot in front of the net after Van Riemsdyk blocked Karlsson’s wrister that was tipped by Hertl from the slot.

16:56, 2-1: Kuznetsov swiped the puck off the right half-wall, fought off Harrington, drifted to the cage, and swept a shot past the left pad of Kahkonen in front. The 30-year-old has recorded three points (two goals) in his last three games. With the primary assist, Gustafsson has three in his last three. With the secondary helper, Van Riemsdyk has three points (two goals) in his last three as well. The concussion spotters pulled Kahkonen and Dell drew into the contest following the goal.

Shots: 21-13 San Jose (including 14-4 in the second)

Other Notable Stats: Washington, who did not score on three opportunities on the man advantage, led 17-10 in hits and 14-11 in blocked shots. San Jose, who scored once on three power plays, won 62% of the faceoffs and led 6-3 in takeaways. Each team posted seven takeaways.

Third Period


12:55, 3-1: Karlsson wristed a shot under the crossbar off of a faceoff to Lindgren’s right after the puck bounced off of the boards. It was the 32-year-old’s third point of the game.

17:49, 4-1 (empty-netter): Hertl hunted down a loose puck down the right flank, grabbed it, and skated it for a layup.

Shots: 33-21 San Jose (including 13-8 in the third)

Other Notable Stats: Washington led 23-20 in hits and 22-16 in blocked shots but failed to score on three power plays. San Jose led 9-5 in takeaways, struck once on four power plays, won 63% of the faceoffs. Both teams were on the board for 10 giveaways.

Next game: Tuesday vs. Carolina Hurricanes (7 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 Trap Game: Washington Suffers 4-1 Setback To San Jose

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cant say it was a surprise. SJ had awesome offensive possession stats entering the game – top 10 in the league. They have bad goaltending is why they are near the bottom in the pacific. Was hoping to get a few more tallies because of that. Power play also continues to flail, 19th in the league.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      Power play was the powerless play, once again. Basically, if Ovi isn’t hot, the power play is a no go.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That looked like a bunch of old guys that were out late last night. Oh wait….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Still planning the parade Horn?

    • horn73 says:

      Wrong guy. My point is you don’t start tear downs with teams that are this good. 2nd point is that with so many expiring contracts, this offseason will allow for a “reload” while moving…Between Jon’s recent piece on how the Caps have played against the top teams and Saturday beating Boston, I think it confirms that trading all and starting over is an awful conclusion/desire.

      P.S. – While I want the Caps to win Cups, winning a Cup or being a Cup favorite isn’t my top goal as a hockey fan.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not a tear down to trade guys who won’t be here next year anyway and who are easily replaceable now. Sheary/Snively, Hathaway/Beck, Eller/Protas, TVR/AA, etc

        • horn73 says:

          I don’t disagree with your suggestions, although I’d keep Eller for 3 reasons –

          1 – I don’t think they’ll get much for him, if better than a 4th, trade him

          2- Most teams want NHL center depth this time of year. And while I like Protas future (3rd or 4th line), but not sure I want him playing center in the playoffs this year.

          3 – I think Protas is a year away and that is as a bottom 6 spot. If Caps collapse, then definitely do as you suggest.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Swing and a miss. Would you have taken 1-1 split for the weekend beforehand? Hard to say

  5. Anonymous says:

    That was a big fat zilch

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