The Capitals did not start the California road trip off on a high note, losing 4-0 to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.
Here are three reasons why Washington lost.
Taking a penalty 36 seconds into the game
Starting the three-game California gauntlet by taking a penalty less than a minute into the game is not ideal. Tom Wilson was whistled for interference just 26 seconds into the game. It did not take long for Anaheim to take advantage as the Ducks scored just 48 seconds later to take the 1-0 lead.
Another bad night for Braden Holtby
The Capital’s biggest problem in their own end remains the defense and not the goalie. Having said that, Holtby has got to be better. He looked like a confident goalie in the Stadium Series as he snapped a career-high six-game losing streak, but he looked completely different in Anaheim. Hampus Lindholm scored on a deflection, but both Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell beat Holtby glove side on savable shots. He gave up three goals on just nine shots and was ultimately pulled for Philipp Grubauer. This marks the third time he has been pulled in his last six starts.
Washington did not make smart decisions with the puck as they tried to transition up the ice. The power play was powerless whenever the Ducks cleared the puck because the Caps could not get through the neutral zone. Anaheim kept jumping in the passing lanes and intercepting the passes. In the defensive zone, there was little urgency against the forecheck. As an example, Andre Burakovsky had the puck stolen from him in the defensive zone twice on the same shift in the second period. Washington was credited with 19 giveaways for the game, but it was so much worse than that.
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