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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Capitals Come Up Empty In Deflating Loss To Stars



Washington Capitals

It was by no means a wide-open matchup for the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars on Thursday in what was a quiet, tight and physical tilt between both clubs. Ultimately, Dallas broke through, and when it came time for Washington to do the same, the club came up empty.

There wasn’t a lot of momentum or urgency throughout on Washington’s end, and an early and late goal against, as well as a red-hot Jake Oettinger led to a 2-0 loss to the Stars.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat, which marks the first time the team was shut out this season.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Can’t Beat Jake Oettinger, Show Life Too Late In Game

There weren’t a lot of shots on goal to start, but there were scoring chances there for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin had quite a few looks, including a shot that rang off the crossbar early and a point-blank chance in front that Oettinger was able to stop. The first line of Ovechkin, Dylan Strome and Conor Sheary generated some zone time and continues to have chemistry, but they couldn’t make much happen against a strong Dallas blue line.

Ovechkin led Washington with seven shots — and also hit two crossbars — and the team turned up the pressure late in the third with the net empty with over three minutes to go and both teams playing 4-on-4. The Capitals, who had been trailing in shots, ultimately tied the Stars 27-27 in shots on goal. But in the end, the comeback was too little, too late.

And while there were crafty plays, none of them connected, and there weren’t a lot of chances as the Stars’ defense did well in front of a red-hot Oettinger. There also weren’t a lot of shots or chances in tight.

John Carlson Turnover, Shorthanded Goal Sinks Washington Capitals

Halfway through the third period and down 1-0 after a first-period tip-in goal from Jason Robertson, the Capitals got a big opportunity to even the score with a power-play chance. And to start the man advantage, things were looking good, as the team maintained the zone and piled on the pressure. But then on the first clear, things would go south, and the team would suffer another setback late in the game.

Joel Kiviranta picked off John Carlson as the defenseman tried to carry the puck back up ice after the regroup. He didn’t pick up Kiviranta and no one could get back, and the 26-year-old scored on a shorthanded breakaway in tight that Darcy Kuemper had little chance of stopping. It was the first shorthanded goal against this season.

That SHG deflated Washington and ultimately set the tone for the rest of a game that had been very quiet leading up to that point. The same play happened a few time, as there were a few more turnovers happening in the Capitals’ zone.

Darcy Kuemper Stands Tall As Washington Capitals Get Outworked & Outdone In Face-Off Dot

Another good takeaway for the Capitals: the goaltending continues to work out. It was not a good night for the District when it came to the face-off circle and the shot counter, as the Stars dominated in the circle and won the possession game while also getting the upper hand when it came to shots on goal for the majority of the game (those would even up at the end of regulation). The biggest reason that Washington remained in it until the end, though, was Kuemper.

The two goals against don’t fall on Kuemper, though, as there wasn’t much he could do on either. Other than those goals against, he was stellar in goal, coming up with some big stops and serving as a reliable force between the pipes. He also helped slow things down, made smart plays and kept things tight. He finished with 25 saves on 27 shots (.926 save percentage).

Dmitry Orlov Could Face Disciplinary Action For Controversial Hit On Mason Marchment

It was a physical battle and a tight game between both sides for the first 40, and with that came a questionable hit from Dmitry Orlov. The 31-year-old delivered a big open ice hit while going 1-on-1 against Mason Marchment, and ended up catching the Stars forward in the chin with his forearm. The hit to the head went uncalled, but it could result in a call from the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Orlov Delivers Controversial Hit On Marchment; Could DoPS Look At It?

Additional Washington Capitals Ice Chips

  • Beck Malenstyn continues to look good on the fourth line, and he had two shots and two hits through 7:57 while fitting in seamlessly with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway.
  • Washington lost 68 percent of the face-offs. Evgeny Kuznetsov went 5-for-17 in the dot.
  • It wasn’t a terrible defensive game for D.C. and kept things tight, with good physicality. The new pairings seem to be coming together as well.

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