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Penalties are a problem, and the Caps know it

Penalties are a problem, and the Caps know it

Penalties weren’t the main reason the Caps fell to the Panthers on Saturday night, but taking six minors, including four in the second period, sure didn’t help matters.

“Penalties have been a little bit of an ongoing thing,” Coach Barry Trotz said after the 4-1 defeat at Capital One Arena. “It took all the rhythm out. It forced a big portion of our bench to sit there, get cold. In the second period, it was back-to-back-to-back-to-back, and it just sort of took all of the momentum. And now you’re chasing the game big time.”

Evgenii Dadonov scored on the power play late in the first period to stake Florida to a 2-0 lead. Then Vincent Trocheck closed the door midway through the second, sniping a 5-on-3 shot over Philipp Grubauer to make it 3-0.

RELATED: A SLOPPY GAME LED TO A SLOPPY LOSS, BUT THERE WAS ONE CAP WHO STOOD OUT

“We shot ourselves again in the foot a little bit with the penalties,” Grubauer said. “We got to move our feet. I wouldn’t call it lazy, I would call it being behind the play.”

Lars Eller was whistled for holding and tripping. Nicklas Backstrom doubled up, too, with interference and tripping infractions. Madison Bowey got called for hooking and Evgeny Kuznetsov was cited for high sticking. All of the penalties were assessed in the game’s first 33 minutes.

The impact of penalties, particularly when they’re taken so close to one another, cannot be disputed. In addition to the obvious advantage they give the other team, penalties also disrupt the flow of the game and the lines, while keeping goal scorers like Alex Ovechkin, Andre Burakovsky and Evgeny Kuznetsov stapled to the bench. And they’re even harder to kill off on the second night of a back-to-back.    

“We took it to them and did all the right things 5 on 5 …but again all the penalties, it’s disrupting the flow of our team,” Eller said. “It’s hurting us a lot. I am guilty and other guys too. That’s a little thing that will make a big difference for us if we can improve on that.”

MORE CAPITALS: GRUBAUER HAS THOUGHTS ON WHY THE CAPS CAN'T STAY OUT OF THE BOX

The veteran center added: “It’s an easy fix. It’s a question of being a little bit more smart, taking an extra step [instead of reaching with the stick]. That will improve our game a lot.”

In nine games this season, the Caps have been assessed more penalties than their opponent five times. They’ve only taken fewer penalties than an opponent once.

“We have to nip the penalties in the bud,” Trotz said. “We seem to stack ‘em up. You’ll take the odd one but when you start stacking them up it’s a recipe for disaster for us.”

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Calgary comes to Washington in style with 1950s theme

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USA TODAY Sports

Calgary comes to Washington in style with 1950s theme

The Calgary Flames left for Washington D.C. on Saturday night and they decided to go in style.

After a game in Philadelphia, the Flames were slated to take a train to Washington for their game against the Caps on Monday so they decided to have a little fun with it with a 1950s style theme.

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S NHL POWER RANKINGS

The irony to this is that Jaromir Jagr is a member of the Flames and he currently doing everything he can to avoid turning 50. Now the rest of the team is embracing the 50s. Go figure.

HOW TO WATCH CAPS-FLAMES

Washington will host their stylish foes on Monday at Capital One Arena at 7 p.m.

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Game 22: Capitals vs. Flames Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 22: Capitals vs. Flames Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Flames will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flames game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

 You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-FLAMES GAME?

The Capitals (11-9-1) take on the Flames (11-8-0) Monday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-FLAMES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Flames game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Capitals GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington Plus following the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Flames
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-FLAMES GAME?

The Capitals-Flames game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-FLAMES PROJECTED LINES

Here are the Caps' projected lines for the Caps-Flames game:

Offensive lines
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Tom Wilson
Brett Connolly - Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Defensive pairs
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Taylor Chorney - Madison Bowey

Goalies
Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches
Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness, Christian Djoos (upper-body injury), Tyler Graovac (conditioning in Hershey), Andre Burakovsky (LTIR)

CAPITALS-FLAMES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.