Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 5-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night at Verizon Center:
How it happened: Joe Thornton scored a power-play goal in the first period and Mike Brown and Tomas Hertl followed with even-strength goals in the second, leading the Sharks and goaltender Martin Jones (31 saves) to the shutout. It was the first time the Caps hace been shut out since March 21 in Winnipeg and the first time they’ve been blanked at home since Nov. 14, 2014 when the Devils beat them 1-0. Jones has not allowed a goal since the season opener and has a shutout string of 135 minutes, 11 seconds.
No Ovi: Alex Ovechkin missed the game due to personal reasons, forcing coach Barry Trotz to juggle three of his forward lines. Andre Burakovsky took Ovechkin’s spot as top-line left wing alongside center Evgeny Kuznetsov and right wing T.J. Oshie. On the power play, Stan Galiev and Matt Niskanen took turns playing in Ovechkin’s spot in the left circle.
Coach’s challenge: With 9:39 gone in the second period and the Caps trailing 3-0, defenseman Dmitry Orlov appeared to score his first goal since March 2, 2014 when he blasted a pass from Jason Chimera past Sharks goalie Martin Jones. But while the Caps were celebrating on the bench, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was signaling for a coach’s challenge.
New to the NHL this season, a coach’s challenge can only be used for goalie interference and offsides. In this case, Jay Beagle skated through the crease and video replays showed his right arm grazed the glove hand of Jones.
After about 2 minutes of review, referee Tim Peel waved off the call, saying Beagle had interfered with Jones, although his explanation was drowned out by boos from the crowd.
Because the play on the ice was overruled, the Sharks retained their timeout and could use it later in the game for another challenge.
Miscues galore: The Capitals had troubles completing a pass throughout the first two periods, committing a total of 11 giveaways to the Sharks’ five. Barry Trotz was forced to call a timeout after the Sharks went up 3-0. Orlov was the last man back on that goal by Hertl, leaving Nate Schmidt and Justin Williams to defend a 2-on-2.
Chimmer train: Jason Chimera had a scary moment early in the third period when he careened full-speed into the net on a mad dash up the ice. Chimera was escorted into the net by Tommy Wingels, who was not penalized on the play. Chimera was favoring his left leg when he skated to the bench but stayed in the game and took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for jabbing at Thornton from the Caps bench. Before that, Chimera grazed a few Sharks as he made his way past the visitors’ bench.
Early pull: Trotz went for broke early, pulling Braden Holtrby (27 saves) with just under 5 minutes remaining in regulation. Matt Nieto scored into the empty net with 2 minutes left and Trotz left the cage empty the rest of the way, allowing Chris Tierney to score another empty netter in the final minute.
What’s next: The Caps are scheduled to practice at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.