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Takeaways: Ovechkin Makes History, But Capitals Blow Lead Again, Fall To Yotes

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Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON — As the Washington Capitals donned their Reverse Retro sweaters, they saw vintage Alex Ovechkin take the ice and make history, but they also saw old habits return and ultimately, lead to a loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

Ovechkin scored his 787th career goal and Anthony Mantha got on the board, but the Capitals blew a lead for the fourth straight game and fell 3-2 after a furious third-period rally from the Coyotes.

“I don’t know what it is. We just haven’t done enough to win,” van Riemsdyk said. It’s hard to win in this league and unfortunately, we haven’t been making the simple things, the simple plays to just get us [the win] when it’s late in the game.”

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat.

Alex Ovechkin Makes History Yet Again

The Capitals saw Ovechkin make history once again as he broke Gordie Howe‘s all-time record in a reboot of the very sweater he started his career in.

With 8:55 left in the second period and just seconds left to operate on a power play, Ovechkin rifled a one-timer from the left circle (still in the vicinity of the office) past Karel Vejmelka to make it 1-0. The PPG was career goal No. 787 and moved him past Howe for the most goals with one franchise in NHL history.

It marked Ovechkin’s seventh goal of the season and his fifth straight game with a point.

Anthony Mantha Gets On The Board, But Washington Capitals Blow Another Lead

After going without a goal for seven straight games, Anthony Mantha was determined to get going. He got some good looks, and finally, his hard work paid off.

Mantha scored a much-needed goal early in the third period, capitalizing on a turnover and spinning around before backhanding it past Vejmelka to make it 2-0. It was the 27-year-old’s fourth goal of the season.

However, the same pattern came back to plague D.C.; Washington let a 2-0 lead disappear, as Josh Brown was easily able to beat Kuemper with him down in the crease before a Nick Ritchie shot beat Kuemper high just minutes later. The lead and good vibes vanished as the team dropped a lead for the fourth straight game.

Then, with 35.4 seconds left in the game, Ritchie scored his second of the night to lead Arizona to the win.

“No excuses, obviously,” Ovechkin said of the loss. “It starts from us leaders, and we can’t blame [injuries] on it. Every player who plays in the NHL has some level to play, and obviously, we miss those guys. But right now, the situation is we have to pull on the rope with all our hands and don’t panic and don’t think it’s over. We just have to bounce back and play together as a team and as a group.”

Sonny Milano Turns On Jets In Washington Capitals Debut

Sonny Milano said that he wanted to bring “a lot of energy” and offense to the table for the shorthanded Capitals, who are without six forwards — including four top-6 guys. He did just that and gave the team the boost at 5-on-5 it was looking for.

Milano was flying out there, helping Dylan Strome and Marcus Johansson generate a lot of even-strength scoring chances. He was fast with the puck and got quite a few shots on goal.

No. 15 finished the night with three shots and a plus/minus of minus-1 through 13:20 minutes.

Dmitry Orlov Leaves With Injury

It wasn’t all good for Washington, as the injury bug continues to bite hard. Dmitry Orlov exited Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury. He didn’t play after the first period.

He joins a lengthy list of already-injured Capitals, including Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie, Connor Brown, Carl Hagelin, Beck Malenstyn and John Carlson.

Laviolette had no update on Orlov after the game.

Additional Washington Capitals Ice Chips

  • Ovechkin led all skaters with six shots. Conor Sheary came in second with four.
  • Martin Fehervary led with six hits.
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