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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Capitals Collapse In Second, Fall To Leafs

The Washington Capitals had a rough go-of it in the second period, which set the stage for a disappointing 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. All the takeaways.



The Washington Capitals went into Sunday's game feeling confident after a convincing 3-2 shootout win in a critical playoff-like showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins. And while things looked good to start on Sunday, the good times wouldn't last against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nicklas Backstrom got his first goal of the season, but a rough go-of-it in the second and five unanswered goals ultimately led to a disappointing 5-1 loss up north.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat:

Washington Capitals Fall Apart In Second

Going into the middle frame, Washington was leading 1-0 and getting some great looks and chances. However, Toronto turned on the jets in the second, and Washington had some things not go their way while leaving Darcy Kuemper out to dry.

After Toronto tied it on the power play early on, the Leafs managed three more goals over the next 14 minutes to extend the lead to 4-1. While there were some unfortunate bounces, the backcheck wasn't impressive, and there were missed assignments and turnovers which led to easy goals in front, and one on a 3-on-1 break the other way. There were turnovers, mistakes and breakdowns that the team just couldn't recover from.

Ultimately, Kuemper was chased from the net after he and his team surrendered four goals on 20 shots. It marked the second time in the last four outings that Kuemper has been pulled for Charlie Lindgren, but it was hardly his fault as the team didn't necessarily help him after stepping off the gas and letting the Maple Leafs tilt the ice in the second.

Nicklas Backstrom Gets Lone Goal, Power Play Lacks Urgency & Push Too Little Too Late

Backstrom's game-opening goal — and his first since hip resurfacing surgery — was impressive, as he used his vision and high hockey IQ to deceive the Maple Leafs and get a clean shot past former friend Ilya Samsonov.

However, that would be the only goal and one of the only high-quality chances on an otherwise underwhelming power play. Washington went 1-for-4, and the third PP opportunity spoke volumes as the team lacked urgency and couldn't get much going with a chance to turn the tide late in the second.

Meanwhile, the lines started to shuffle toward the end of the game, as Toronto did a solid job of shutting things down. While the Capitals got a number of chances, they just couldn't find twine. There were also some tough moments defensively in that frame.

Charlie Lindgren A Bright Spot

Despite the result and a breakaway goal from Zach Aston-Reese where he had no chance, Lindgren put on a show when taking over the crease for Kuemper. The 29-year-old came up with some huge saves and kept his team in it as the Capitals made a late push.

Ice Chips

– Alex Ovechkin led with five shots on goal.

– Backstrom was noticeable all night long and had some great looks and chances. It looks like he's getting more comfortable with each game.

– Marcus Johansson has points in four of his last five contests.

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