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Takeaways: Snively, Capitals Fight To Finish But Fall To Hurricanes

Joe Snively played the role of an unlikely hero for the Washington Capitals, but it wasn’t enough in a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.



WASHINGTON — With Alex Ovechkin's absence weighing on the Washington Capitals, the team went into Tuesday's game knowing that they had to rally around their captain and battle hard for two points against the high-flying Carolina Hurricanes. It was a fight to the finish, but ultimately, it wasn't enough.

Joe Snively had a multi-point performance, but a disallowed Trevor van Riemsdyk tally, missed opportunities and three familiar goals against resulted in a 3-2 defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Herre are all the takeaways from the defeat.

Snively Makes Statement For Washington Capitals

Snively wasn't supposed to be in the Capitals lineup on Tuesday. The 26-year-old, who was recalled from the Hershey Bears earlier in the day with Alex Ovechkin on indefinite leave from the team, showed up to Capital One Arena in a suit and tie, ready to watch the action with the other scratches. Then, Aliaksei Protas made a beeline for the exit of Capital One Arena with his wife and him expecting their first child, and it was Snively's time to draw in. He didn't disappoint and played the role of an unlikely hero.

Playing in his first NHL game since Dec. 31, Snively made quite the statement — and perhaps an argument to stay in the lineup was the team addresses several voids — with a standout game. At the end of the first period, Snively showcased his speed to jump on a loose puck and go on a break with T.J. Oshie. He passed it quickly to Oshie, who tied the game at one while crashing the net.

He wasn't finished there. With his team trailing 2-1 and being outshot heavily to open the second period, Snively collected a stretch pass from van Riemsdyk and went on an odd-man rush, electing to shoot and sniping a quick shot past Frederik Andersen. It marked the Little Caps alum's first goal of the season and first-ever in Capital One Arena in D.C.

Point Shots Through Traffic Cost Washington Capitals

Carolina turned up the heat after a slow start, and all of their goals had a pattern: net-front presence and point shots.

The Hurricanes struck twice on similar plays, with shots from the point making it through traffic or being redirected in past Darcy Kuemper. Brent Burns, Paul Stastny and Stefen Noesen were credited with the goals. Noesen's goal was a power-play strike that came after Conor Sheary slashed Jordan Staal in the cup.

It's hard to fault Kuemper on those tallies, especially considering the traffic in front of him.

Washington Capitals Can't Finish Chances On PP Or 5-on-5

The Capitals had several opportunities over the course of the night, including odd-man rushes, rebounds, loose pucks in the crease and semi-breaks. However, Washington couldn't finish several chances.

Anthony Mantha hit the crossbar, Nicolas Aube-Kubel had some good chances and there were rallies in front, but the team just couldn't capitalize.

Ultimately, van Riemsdyk broke through in the third after scoring on a rebound off a scramble in front — which started thanks to a Snively shot — but it was waved off after a coach's challenge for goaltender interference.

The power play struggles also continued. Despite new looks with Ovechkin out of the mix, the man advantage couldn't convert and went 0-for-3 on Tuesday.

Top Shelf Takes

– Dmitry Orlov picked up an assist for his 195th career helper, moving him past Sylvian Cote for the eighth-most assists in franchise history.

– Van Riemsdyk has helpers in back-to-back games.

– Oshie picked up his 11th goal of the season and first in five games. He, Anthony Mantha and Nicolas Aube-Kubel tied for the team lead with three shots. No. 77 mentioned at morning skate that he and the team would play harder for Ovechkin, and he did just that and said every goal scored was for No. 8.

– Speaking of NAK, he had quite a few top-notch chances.

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