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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Capitals Fall Late To Predators, Point Streak Ends In Tight Loss

The Washington Capitals couldn’t find space in a tight 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. Here are all the takeaways from the defeat.



WASHINGTON — T.J. Oshie noted on Thursday how the Washington Capitals have fallen back into some weak starts of late, and that was evident again on Friday against the Nashville Predators, as both teams, at times, looked like teams who'd played the night before. Ultimately, Nashville would prevail on a late goal against.

Ultimately, that and fatigue resulted to a 3-2 loss, putting an end to the Capitals' nine-game point streak.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat.

Washington Capitals Start Slow Again, Sluggish Off Back-To-Back As Fatigue Proves Costly

For the second-consecutive game, the Capitals found themselves trailing after a rough go of it in the opening frame. Just minutes into the game, a turnover in front and several Capitals out of position led to an easy goal for Thomas Novak, which put the Predators up 1-0 early. Later in the frame, Yakov Trenin was left alone in front and able to bat a rebound out of the air and past Charlie Lindgren to give Nashville a 2-1 lead going into the second.

Both teams were in action a night before, with the Predators having the harder night after facing 67 shots and 105 shot attempts while Washington was able to put on a clinic and pile on the goals in a 6-2 win over the Blue Jackets. However, Nashville appeared to have more energy coming off the first game of their back-to-back, and they were physical and able to outbattle and outhit the Capitals, who appeared tired at times. Ultimately, the fatigue would prove costly, as a tired backcheck led to a nice breakaway goal for Ryan McDonagh late in regulation to secure the win for the Predators.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel Makes up For Early Mistakes, Stands Out WIth Milano As Fringe Players Make Mark

With Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson returning soon, Washington is preparing to make some difficult roster decisions in order to open up spots for their starts to return, and Friday's game definitely lit a fire under certain players. Aliaksei Protas, the only waiver-exempt player on the roster, was a healthy scratch, as other fringe players in Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Sonny Milano were given jerseys and tasked with showing what they could do. They didn't disappoint.

As he did on Thursday, Aube-Kubel had to make up for some early mistakes in the game, as he took two costly penalties in the first. He came out of the gate buzzing in the second period and was among the most notable players on the ice as he tied the game with arguably one of the best goals of his career as he deked past the defense and sniped home his second goal in as many games. In 20 games with Washington this season, the 26-year-old has two goals and four assists for six points.

Sonny Milano also had an impressive game and continued to show that he can make an impact on the top 6 and on special teams. No. 15 was all over the place and didn't shy away from crashing the net, and he opened the scoring at the tail-end of the man advantage in the second period. He has seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points in 29 games this season, including four goals in his last eight games and three points in his last three outings. Milano also hit the 100-point mark with his goal, and he led the team with four shots as well.

Washington Capitals Ice Chips

– Erik Gustafsson picked up his 18th assist of the season, which leads all Capitals defensemen and gives him 14 points over his last 10 games.

– Trevor van Riemsdyk got a helper as well and is one point away from 100 in his career.

– Conor Sheary has 17 points in his last 18 games.

– Anthony Mantha found himself spending a lot of time on the bench

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