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3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Ducks

3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Ducks

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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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Tarik's 3 Stars: Ovechkin further cements his place in history

Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in NHL history, John Carlson stayed hot and Braden Holtby was good when called upon as the Caps downed the Stars, 4-3, at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory was Washington’s fifth in the past six games. It also marked the Caps’ first win over Dallas in D.C. since 2006.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin scored his 44th goal of the season and the 602nd of his career in the second period to give the Caps a short-lived 3-2 edge in the second period.

The goal put Ovi back atop the league as he seeks a seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. It also pushed him past Jari Karri and into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time list. Ovechkin has now victimized Kari Lehtonen 22 times, which is tied for the most goals he’s scored against a single netminder. (Henrik Lundqvist has also given up 22 goals to No. 8). Ovi also had a couple of secondary helpers.

2-John Carlson, Capitals

Carlson scored the game-winner 4:59 with left to play, blasting a one-timer past Lehtonen to put the Caps ahead 4-3.

Carlson also notched an assist, which allowed him to stay even with Dallas’ John Klingberg. Klingberg had two assists. Both players ended the game with 61 points—tied for the most among all NHL defensemen.    

3-Alexander Radulov, Stars

From his first shift, it was apparent that Radulov was determined to leave his mark on the game. And he did just that, recording a goal, an assist and boarding minor that bloodied Caps defenseman Michal Kempny. Radulov’s goal—a redirection of a John Klingberg shot—was his 26th and it evened the score, 2-2, in the second period.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.