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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Depleted Capitals Lose Wilson, Battle Hard In Loss To Avalanche

The Washington Capitals lost Tom Wilson, but despite being shorthanded, they showed heart and pushed in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.



The Washington Capitals entered Tuesday's game shorthanded, and the bench got shorter against the Colorado Avalanche. And, while the team still managed to have moments of strength, they couldn't overcome adversity or the high-flying Avalanche.

Conor Sheary and Alex Ovechkin scored and Washington showed heart in a furious rally, but Alexandar Georgiev was strong and the depleted Capitals ultimately fell to Colorado, 3-2.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat, which keeps Washington in the second Wild Card spot.

Washington Capitals Lose Tom Wilson To Another Lower-Body Injury, Lines Shuffle As Team Piles On Pressure

In his eighth game back following recovery from offseason ACL surgery, Tom Wlson suffered another lower-body injury, this time to his right leg.

Wilson was in the defensive zone and sacrificed the body to block a booming slapshot from Brad Hunt. It appeared to hit him in his lower right leg, and he went down in visible pain. He slowly got to his feet and was limping a bit before gliding slowly to the bench, doubled over. Wilson subsequently went down the tunnel and did not return to the game.

Not only was it more adversity for the 28-year-old, who spent nearly eight months working his way back from the left knee procedure he had in May, but it was a tough break for the Capitals, who were already operating without the services of Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. Backstrom is day-to-day with a non-COVID illness, while Oshie is back home in D.C. to be with his wife, Lauren, for the birth of their fourth child.

With Wilson out and just 1 forwards, head coach Peter Laviolette had to tweak some of the lines. Ovechkin got double-shifted with Wilson out, while Sonny Milano got some time operating with the captain and worked with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicolas Aube-Kubel as well. Mantha also got top-line minutes, and the team piled on the pressure for a furious rally. However, D.C. couldn't break through.

Alex Ovechkin Scores In Return From Injury, Dylan Strome Stays Hot

Washington made an impressive push against the Avalanche and picked up the pressure throughout the night, and Ovechkin made an impact in his return from a lower-body injury that held him out of Saturday's game in Las Vegas.

The 37-year-old rocketed home a one-timer from the office at even strength off a nice pass from Dylan Strome to make it a 3-2 game in the third period.

It marked Ovechkin's 31st goal of the season and his first goal in three games. He is now at 811 career goals and is 84 away from breaking Wayne Gretzky's all-time goals record. Meanwhile, Strome extended his point streak to four games, with two goals and three assists over that span.

Conor Sheary Finds Twine As Anthony Mantha Gets On Scoresheet

After turning on the goal light but hitting the post in the opening minutes of play, Sheary found twine to give Washington life and help them begin the rally back from going down 2-0. The 30-year-old tipped in a Martin Fehervary point shot for his 12th goal of the season and first goal in 12 games.

Anthony Mantha picked up the secondary assist on the goal, marking his first point since being healthy scratched this season.

Washington Capitals Ice Chips

– Martin Fehervary has three points in his last four games.

– Sheary, Marcus Johansson and Erik Gustafsson were all tied for the team lead in shots (5).

– Ovechkin led all forwards with 22:32 minutes of ice time in his return from injury, while Dmitry Orlov led the team with 24:17 TOI.

– Darcy Kuemper stopped 23 of 26 shots (.885) in his homecoming, and he and NAK got video tributes in their returns.

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