Takeaways: Capitals Fall Flat, Rolled By Canes In Stadium Series
The Washington Capitals saw things take a nosedive early in the Stadium Series, resulting in a 4-1 loss in the outdoor tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes. All the takeaways.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Under the bright lights at Carter-Finley Stadium, the Washington Capitals had extra motivation coming into Saturday's Stadium Series as they sought vengeance, a win for their captain and a return to playoff position against the Carolina Hurricanes. However, after the puck dropped and the festivities ended, things took a nosedive against the high-flying Carolina Hurricanes.
In front of a crowd of 56,961 fans, Washington struggled at both ends of the ice in a high-stakes showdown. And ultimately, a failure to get anything going on offense, some odd bounces and continuous struggles on defense resulted in a 4-0 disaster against the Hurricanes.
Here are all the takeaways live from North Carolina.
Things Go South Fast For Deflated Washington Capitals
There was a lot on the line for the Capitals coming into Saturday's game, but the spark that the team aimed to bring to the table just wasn't there when the puck dropped. Just 2:11 minutes in, Jesperi Kotkaniemi struck as he drove to the front of the crease and saw the puck go off his skate and past Darcy Kuemper. It was a deflatng goal that set the tone, and things only went south from there.
After getting just seven shots on goal in the first, Washington managed to get just eight more in the second while being outscored 3-0 in the middle frame. First, Paul Stastny struck on a rebound off Darcy Kuemper in front following a Capitals turnover in the defensive zone. Later on, Martin Necas would make it a 3-0 game with a one-timer on the power play, and then soonafter, Teuvo Teravainen made it 4-0 after going on a 2-on-1 break the other way and tapping in an easy goal after a nice give-and-go. Kuemper stopped just nine of 12 shots in that third period, and the defense struggled in front of him.
Overall, a disinterested showing and little energy at both ends of the ice resulted in a loss on the big stage.
Washington Capitals Get Wilson Back & Goal From 43, But Struggle To Generate Momentum Without Ovechkin
Ahead of puck drop, the Alex Ovechkin-less Capitals got some good news, as Tom Wilson drew back in after missing the last seven games due to injury. However, his return did little to solve the team's ongoing offensive woes, and they almost came up empty against the Hurricanes.
Washington struggled to get shots on goal and generate high-danger chances and also failed to generate much on their power play chances, going 0-for-2 and managing just one shot on goal. There were some good chances in front at times when pucks got on goal and the team got bodies in front, but they failed to keep that pressure going and couldn't really win any neutral zone battles or sustain pressure against the Hurricanes.
Wilson scored the lone goal for D.C. in the third period after spinning and shooting. It marked his third goal of the season.
The Capitals have now dropped the last seven games without their captain, including all four this season.
Top Shelf Takes
– Anthony Mantha had a decent game and had two shots and led with four hits. He also dropped the gloves with Jordan Martinook to try and ignite a spark.
– Washington did catch a break, because even though the result keeps the team out of playoff position, the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers all also lost on Saturday, meaning they didn't lose traction.