Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A NO-Point Night -- Game 48: Ottawa Senators 3 - Washington Capitals 0

The Washington Capitals saw a long streak come to an end on Tuesday night in a frustrating 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators.  With the loss, the Caps became the last team in the NHL to suffer their tenth loss in regulation time.

Ottawa opened the scoring early in the first period when Chris Kelly and Tom Pyatt broke out of the defensive end on a 2-on-1 rush with the Caps on a power play.  Kelly fed Pyatt, who carried the puck on the left side into the Caps’ zone.  Kelly darted to the net with Marcus Johansson trying to close the gap.  Johansson was not able to close the distance completely, and Pyatt fed him for a backhander that beat goalie Philipp Grubauer at the 1:46 mark.

The Senators doubled their lead less than three minutes later.  With a Senators power play just expiring, Grubauer turned away a Bobby Ryan point-blank shot, but the puck skittered into the left wing faceoff circle where Derick Brassard chased it down.  He fed it out to Fredrik Claesson, whose one-timer was redirected by Ryan past Grubauer with just 4:10 gone in the period.

Ottawa added a goal in the second period on a power play, Zach Smith getting his 12th goal of the season.  That was all Mike Condon needed as he stopped all 31 shots he faced to earn the 3-0 shutout.

Other stuff…

-- The Caps came up one game short of tying their franchise-high 15 game points streak (2009-2010, when they went 14-0-1).  The streak ends with a record of 12-0-2.

-- This was the first time this season that the Caps were shut out on the road and the third time overall.  Oddly enough, all three shutouts came with 3-0 scores, the others at home to the New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks.

-- Alex Ovechkin had 21:01 in ice time, five hits, and took two minor penalties.  Bad combo.  The Caps are now 1-6-3 when he logs at least 20 minutes in ice time, 2-4-2 when he records five or more hits, and 2-2-1 when he is charged with two or more penalties in a game.

-- Another streak of sorts ended with this game.  Coming in, the Caps had not suffered a loss by more than one goal over a 25-game stretch (19-2-4) dating back to the 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Islanders on December 1st. 

-- The Caps had six power plays in a road game for just the second time this season.  They lost the other one, too.  Tampa Bay beat the Caps, 2-1, in a Gimmick in which the Caps went 1-for-6 on their power play. 

-- Only one Capital taking more than one faceoff finished over 50 percent – the new guy.  Chandler Stephenson won two of three draws.

-- For the first time this season, the Caps allowed an even strength goal, a power play goal, and a shorthanded goal in one game.  The last time they did that was in a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on March 12, 2016.  The Sharks added an empty netter for good measure in that one.

-- The Caps won’t be sad to see Ottawa in their rear view mirror.  They managed just three goals on 79 shots in the three games against them in the season series, which they won, 2-1-0.

-- The Caps had four shorthanded shots on goal in 7:04 of Ottawa power play time.  Daniel Winnik and T.J. Oshie each had a pair.

-- Philipp Grubauer had an okay night, but that’s three straight appearances in which he has allowed three goals, stopping 71 of 80 shots (.888 save percentage).

In the end…

All good things, just like all bad things, come to an end.  The loss takes nothing away from the remarkable run the Caps have been on, especially as this was their third game in four nights.  The trick is to try to recharge with a day off before trying to end the pre-All-Star game break with a win in New Jersey. 

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