WASHINGTON — Not a single thing went right for the Washington Capitals on Friday.
The Edmonton Oilers scored twice in the first period to build an early hole for the Capitals, one that just continued to grow as the game went on. The Capitals found little success anywhere on the ice, leading to a 5-0 loss and the end of the team’s five-game win streak.
Neither team had an edge offensively until Oilers winger Evander Kane broke through, collecting the first lead of the game after sneaking the puck past Capitals goalie Charlie Lindgren. The team’s offensive chances continued to grow as the period went on, but the same could not be said for the home team.
The Capitals had little time to react before Ryan Nugent-Hopkins batted a deflection out of the air and past Lindgren a minute later, building the Oilers’ two-goal advantage.
All the while, the Capitals’ offense struggled to fight back. The unit had tallied only six shots on goal by the end of the first period, limiting their abilities to counter the Oilers and their 22 first-period shots.
In the second period, things went from bad to worse for the Capitals.
At the two minute mark, TJ Oshie left the game with an upper body injury after a collision with Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm. He did not return, leaving the Capitals down a forward.
Less than two minutes later, the Oilers tallied two more goals, with Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid both assisting on scores by Evan Bouchard and Leon Draisaitl. Just before the end of the period, Draisaitl added another.
The Capitals, now facing a five-goal deficit, opened the third period on the attack, but little could be done by that point. The group tallied eight shots in the final frame, but could not get past Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner.
OILERS’ TALENT TOO MUCH FOR CAPITALS
The Capitals entered Friday with the second-fewest goals allowed, as well as the third-best save percentage, in the month of November.
Such a run of success is bound to end at some point. Despite their abysmal record, the Oilers always have a chance thanks to the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on their roster.
As expected, the duo was key to the Oilers’ win. Draisaitl led the way with two goals and tallied an assist, while McDavid ended the night with four assists.
OSHIE LEAVES WITH INJURY
The Capitals lost a player to injury Friday, the day that Evgeny Kuznetsov returned to the lineup after missing the last two games.
After a collision with Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm early in the second period, winger TJ Oshie left the game with an upper body injury. He did not return.
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) November 24, 2023
Oshie’s departure is cause for concern for multiple reasons, but especially with the Capitals opening a West Coast road trip next week. The team is already without winger Matthew Phillips, who has missed the last three games, and with Nicolas Aube-Kubel already called up from the AHL, there appears to be no obvious replacement if Oshie is expected to miss time.
The Capitals begin a five-game West Coast road trip on Monday when they meet the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop from the SAP Center is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. EST.