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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Kuemper, Capitals Fall To Devils In Shootout

The Washington Capitals got goals from Trevor van Riemsdyk and Dylan Strome and a standout showing from Darcy Kuemper, but it wasn’t enough in a 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils. Here are all the takeaways.



WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals were in a good spot to close out the opening frame against the New Jersey Devils, up by one goal off a last-ditch tally from Trevor van Riemsdyk. And while it was something to build off of going into the final 40, things went in the opposite direction for D.C. It was Darcy Kuemper who came to the rescue and kept his team in it until the end, but a skills competition was the deciding factor.

TVR and Dylan Strome scored in regulation, but it wasn't enough in a 3-2 SO loss to the Devils.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat:

Trevor van Riemsdyk's Goal Gives Washington Capitals Leverage After Slow Start, New Jersey Devils Tilt Ice In Second

With just nine seconds left in an underwhelming, low-shooting first period that saw Washington being outshot 9-6 up to that point, van Riemsdyk woke his team up with a nice shot from the point that went off a Devils defender and in to make it a 1-0 game. The play started with a great last push from Craig Smtih, who picked up the puck in the neutral zone and generated pressure by charging right back into the offensive zone.

While TVR's goal provided the team an opportunity to carry some momentum over into the second, things went in the opposite direction. New Jersey tilted the ice in its favor, generating several chances and outplaying the team in the second. That led to two flukey goals within 37 seconds of one another, as Erik Haula saw his pass go off Alex Alexeyev and past Kuemper while Dawson Mercer put the puck past Kuemper after receiving a pass from Jack Hughes, who got hold of the puck on a strange deflection.

That period saw the Capitals outshot 16-7, and New Jersey would go on to finish with nearly twice as many shots, outshooting Washington 40-21.

Milano-Strome-Oshie Line Stays Hot

Since being put together on a line, Sonny Milano, Dylan Strome and T.J. Oshie have complemented each other perfectly, and Thursday was no different for the trio as they brought pressure on each shift.

That paid off in a lopsided second, as they combined for the game-tying goal after the Devils had shifted things in their favor. Milano got the puck to Oshie, who held onto it while waiting for an opportunity to open up. He then found Strome streaking to the net and passed it right to the front, where No. 17 batted it past Schmid to make it a 2-2 hockey game for the Capitals and ultimately force extra time.

Strome and Milano are both riding three-game point streaks and have points in five of their last six games, and Oshie has found the scoresheet in six of his last seven outings.

Kuemper Stands Tall To Keep His Team In It

New Jersey piled on the pressure and got two flukey goals in the second, but other than that, Kuemper stood on his head for Washington. The only goals against were out of his control, as Alex Alexeyev deflected the first goal from Erik Haula past him while a strange deflection in front led to a wide-open net for Dawson Mercer on the second.

Kuemper finished the night with 38 saves on 40 shots and made some ten-bell stops to help his team stay in it until the end, including a sequence that saw him make three straight saves and finish off the heroics with a sprawling stop, as well as a huge stop at the doorstep in OT.

That carried over to the shootout, as he shut down the likes of Hughes, Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier. But Meier's goal won it.

Additional Ice Chips

– Rasmus Sandin led Washington in ice time with 29:58 minutes.

– TVR had a team-leading three shots in what turned out to be a low-shooting game, while also logging well over 20 minutes of ice time as he continues to play a top-pairing role.

– The Capitals welcomed back Vitek Vanecek, who was backing up Schmid. He was alls miles as he received a nice ovation from the fans.

All the Capitals news that's fit to print

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