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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: New-Look Capitals Can’t Rally Two Nights In Row, Fall To Wild

The Washington Capitals navigated quite a few lineup changes and started strong, but ultimately couldn’t get things done and lost control in the second en route to a 4-2 loss.



WASHINGTON — To kick things off against the Minnesota Wild, the Washington Capitals — who had quite a different look than they did just 24 hours ago — had control. Then, after the second period, it was gone.

Despite multi-point efforts from Alex Ovechkin and Martin Fehervary and goals from Fehervary and Strome, three goals from Minnesota in the second led to a 4-2 loss.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat:

Washington Capitals Start Stron, Get Outscored In Second As Wild Take Advantage Of Screens

After taking a 1-0 lead and a rather strong start that saw the Capitals dominate in shots and offensive zone time into the second, they found themselves trailing 3-2 going into the final 20 minutes of regulation after being outscored 3-1 in that middle frame, which had been mainly beneficial for Washington up until this point in the season.

Jared Spurgeon struck twice in the second, wild Jonas Brodin added one as the Wild took the lead heading into the third. Minnesota's goals all came in similar fashion, all point shots with players setting screens in front of Charlie Lindgren, who hadn't faced too much rubber ahead of that second period, where the Wild got back to taking control.

While the Capitals would get back in the driver's seat and outshoot Minnesota, it wasn't enough, as Washington couldn't complete the comeback two nights in a row and fell 4-2 in regulation after an empty netter sealed the deal.

Martin Fehervary, Alex Ovechkin Lead Offense, Power Play Woes Prove Costly

Martin Fehervary and Alex Ovechkin were feeling chemistry on Tuesday, as the two combined for multi-point performances.

Ovechkin helped Fehervary open the scoring with a great feed to the front to make it a 1-0 lead late in the first. It marked Fehervary's fourth goal of the season.

In the second, Fehervary would pay it forward, as he took an Ovechkin drop pass and threw it to the front, where Dylanx Strome had a great redirect to end a lengthy scoring drought and give Washington its second of the game.

It marked Strome's ninth goal of the season and the second points of the night for Ovechkin and Fehervary, who finished with two assists and one goal and one assist respectively. Ovechkin also now has points in three straight games.

While the team had several chances at even strength, to which Filip Gustavsson shut things down, the power play could have been the difference maker. And the Capitals couldn't find twine or an answer on the man advantage. There was little urgency or momentum on the PP, and ultimately, Washington couldn't score on any of its 13 opportunities. The team is now 0-for-13 over the last six games.

Washington Capitals Navigate Wild Lineup Changes, Make Adjustments

With Nic Dowd set to be "out for a bit," Lars Eller drew back into the mix for Washington, but that was just the beginning of several lineup changes for the group going into Tuesday's tilt with Minnesota.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who sat for four consecutive games, returned to the lineup as Anthony Mantha drew the short straw as a healthy scratch for the third time in five games. Not only would NAK draw back in, but he would also take on a top-line role playing at 1RW alongside Alex Ovechkin and Dylan Strome. Sonny Milano, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson stayed together on the second line, and that was the only line — along with the defensive pairings — that stayed the same.

As Eller came back, the bottom-6 changed. The Dane operated at 3C between T.J. Oshie and Conor Sheary while Evgeny Kuznetsov was demoted to the fourth line to center Marcus Johansson and Garnet Hathaway.

Over the course of the game, Laviolette tweaked things, as Wilson went to replace NAK on the first line with Ovechkin and Strome.

Additional Ice Chips

– Aliaksei Protas joined the team and was watching from the press box as the Capitals appear set to recall him for their upcoming road swing with Dowd out of the picture.

– Dmitry Orlov led all skaters with six shots on goal.

– Eller had a solid night in the faceoff dot, winning eight of nine draws (89 percent).

– Washington celebrated its annual Pride Night on Tuesday with players using sticks with Pride Tape in warmups.

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