The Caps had a tough first period in Nashville. They were outscored 2-0, outshot 16-4 and called for three penalties with a fourth washed out by a Nashville goal during the delay.
There was also a bit of bad luck in the first period as the referees missed a call in the first period that would have negated the Predators' first goal.
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Brett Connolly tripped Craig Smith at 11:32 in the first period. The referee spotted the penalty and raised his arm signaling a delayed call. Watch what happens after Kyle Turris and Matt Niskanen go after the puck along the boards.
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Niskanen beats Turris to the puck and fires it to the blue line attempting to clear. Remember there is a delayed call coming against the Capitals which means once Washington establishes possession, the play should be called dead. Niskanen's play here should certainly qualify. Smith would go on to score for Nashville on the delay.
Had the refs called the play dead when Niskanen established possession as they should have, Smith would not have scored that first goal.
We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.
Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.
The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.
Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin.
Here are your three stars from the game:
1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out:
Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it.
2. Shayne Gostisbehere got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games.
3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose.
The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center.