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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Capitals Can’t Hold Off Kraken In One Of Strangest Games Yet



Washington Capitals

In just a matter of minutes, the Washington Capitals went from weathering the storm to getting lost in the tide against the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night.

Martin Fehervary and Conor Sheary scored and Ovechkin picked up two assists, but things fell apart toward the end of regulation, as the Kraken were able to claw back and force overtime before Matty Beniers struck seven seconds into 3-on-3 to send the Capitals packing, 3-2, at Climate Pledge Arena.

Washington is now 10-11-4 and is two points out of a Wild Card spot.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat:

Sheary, Ovechkin Lead Charge On Offense For Washington Capitals

Of late, the Capitals have gotten better with their starts, and Thursday was no different, as the offense got going early thanks to Sheary and Alex Ovechkin. Washington was able to get going quickly in Seattle, as the top trio of Ovechkin-Strome-Sheary generated pressure early. It paid off, as Martin Fehervary was able to pounce on a loose puck and rifle home a slap shot past Philipp Grubauer to make it 1-0. Ovechkin and Sheary added the assists. Ovechkin now has six points in three career games against Seattle and points in three of his last four outings overall.

Then, on the power play, Sheary would get the team on the board after a picture-perfect passing play from Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson to make it a 2-0 game. It marked another multi-point outing for No. 73, who has been outstanding for D.C. this season. That goal also marked the team’s fifth PPG in seven games.

Both Ovechkin and Sheary were the team’s best players, especially Sheary. The 30-year-old generated quite a few high-quality chances, was all over the ice and showcased his speed, tenacity and grit as he helped pile on the pressure and lead the charge offensively.

That early start would give Washington the upper hand and a vital cushion as the Kraken were able to tilt the ice in the second.

Washington Capitals Get Some Luck, But Kraken Rally Back In Strange Tilt

Thursday’s game was anything but typical in Seattle, as the Capitals and Kraken saw a low-shooting, high-danger game take place. And arguably, there was also interference from the hockey gods.

After Jaden Schwartz got on the board with a power-play goal in the second, Seattle upped the ante and took control in the middle frame. It was a slower start for the high-flying Kraken, but in the second, they matched the Capitals’ speed, started to expose their weak spots and generated quite a few chances.

Still, Darcy Kuemper and Washington, despite letting the lead slip away, did get some puck luck. Jordan Eberle had a chance to tie it in the second. Kuemper caught an edge and went down in a lopsided pad stack, leaving the net wide open. However, Eberle hit the post, and Seattle couldn’t bury the rebound. It was extremely fortunate for D.C. Beniers also fanned on a nice opportunity in the slot at one point, and late in the game, Andre Burakovsky hit the inside of the post. However, Seattle kept pushing, and it paid off, as Yanni Gourde, with the help of former friend Daniel Sprong, finally got a rebound past Kuemper with 2:27 left in regulation.

All things considered, Thursday was an adventure for Kuemper in net, as he pulled out all the stops and showcased his athleticism by flashing the pads and gloves while diving and making a couple of separation stops. Grubauer also had some impressive saves and bounces of his own at his end of the ice.

Kuemper finished with 22 saves on 25 shots (.880 save percentage).

T.J. Oshie Makes Statement In Homecoming

Oshie had family and friends in the stands for his homecoming and first NHL appearance in his home state of Washington, and he made the most of it. No. 77 was a force to be reckoned with, as he put on a show and made some great moves while generating chances in the offensive zone. However, his most noticeable play came in the opening minutes of action.

GOTTA SEE IT: Oshie, Gourde Drop The Gloves After Huge Hit

Oshie threw a huge hit on Brandon Tanev, leading to a fight with Gourde. It marked Oshie’s 10th NHL fight, his seventh with the Capitals and his second with Gourde, who also fought Oshie in 2020. His fisticuffs got Washington going, and while he was in the box, Sheary subbed in for him on the PP and scored.

The 35-year-old’s energy is contagious, and his play definitely set an example for his teammates. However, the team just couldn’t get it done.

Additional Washington Capitals Ice Chips

  • Johansson now has points in three straight games.
  • Dylan Strome, Lars Eller and Nic Dowd won over 50 percent of their face-offs. Dowd led the way, winning seven of eight (87.5 percent).
  • Ovechkin led the team with five shots. His two assists also made for his 120th career multi-assist game.