Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks Saturday night at SAP Center:
How it happened: The Capitals’ third-period magic ran out when the Sharks received third-period goals from Joe Pavelski, Brenden Dillon and Brent Burns to pull away from what had been a tug-of-war game in which the Caps twice battled back to tie on second-period goals by T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams.
What it means: The Caps will have to wait a few more days to clinch a playoff spot. It also means the Caps have lost back-to-back games for just the third time all season. The Caps still have not lost three games in a row and have not lost consecutive games in regulation this season.
No O from Ovi: Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist on Oshie’s power-play goal, which matched Oshie’s career high of 21 goals, but he managed just two shots. Ovechkin has just one goal and three assists and is a minus-4 in his last eight games. With Ovechkin struggling to find the back of the net, don’t be surprised if he’s skating alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov when the Caps resume practice at Kettler on Monday.
Orlov dilemma: Defenseman Dmitry Orlov drew a boarding penalty on Joe Thornton to give the Caps a second-period power play, but his giveaway led to Patrick Marleau’s shorthanded goal, which came off a feed from Joel Ward.
Slow starters: The Caps played the Sharks pretty even through the first 20 minutes but still allowed the game’s first goal for the 13th time in 15 games.
Line juggling: Caps coach Barry Trotz tooled around with his bottom six forwards, icing a third line of Mike Richards between Jason Chimera and Marcus Johansson, and a fourth line of Jay Beagle between Daniel Winnik and Tom Wilson.
What’s ahead: The Caps will have the day off on Sunday and are expected to practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Monday in preparation for Tuesday night’s home game against the Carolina Hurricnaes.