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Capitals lose nail-biter in overtime against Flames

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Capitals lose nail-biter in overtime against Flames

Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames Friday night at Verizon Center:

How it happened: The Capitals allowed their opponent to score first for the seventh straight game when a turnover in the defensive zone led to Sam Bennett finding Michael Frolik for a snap shot that eluded goaltender Philipp Grubauer’s blocker for a 1-0 lead 7:35 into the second period. The Flames doubled their lead 1:32 into the third period when forward Sean Monahan carried across the blue line and hit the brakes in the high slot, buying him enough time and space away from Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen to fire a shot over Grubauer’s right shoulder and under the crossbar.

Washington crawled back into it 5:41 into the third when Michael Latta hammered his own rebound under Karri Ramo for his first goal since Nov. 15, 2013 in Detroit under former head coach Adam Oates. Latta was cross-checked to the ice by Micheal Ferland just after he scored but he jumped to his feet and celebrated his first goal in nearly two years.

The Caps nearly tied the score with 5:26 remaining when Tom Wilson pitchforked the puck out of Ramo’s grasp, but Karl Alzner was a a stride too late and T.J. Brodie shoved puck under Ramo. That set the stage for Jay Beagle, who was left completely alone in front of Ramo with 4:48 remaining in regulation. Andre Burakovsky spotted Beagle and hit him with a perfect pass. Beagle had enough time to go from his forehand to his backhand and beat Ramo, who was sprawled out of position.

In the overtime period Monahan won it 1:40 into the extra period when he got a step on Dmitry Orlov, took a pass from T.J. Brodie and beat Grubauer top shelf. The Caps used a coach’s challenge to review the goal, but replays showed Monahan’s back skate was on the blue line when Brodie entered the offensive zone, making the play onsides.  

What it means: The Caps’ loss was their second in three games and marked their first defeat in a back-to-back situation. They fell to 11-4-1 (23 points) to move three points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers (12-2-2, 26 points).

Look ahead: Washington does not play again until Wednesday night when they visit Mike Green and the Red Wings in Detroit.  

MORE CAPITALS: Friday Six-Pack - What's up with that offsides call?

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.

RELATED: BRADEN HOLTBY BLAMES HIMSELF FOR TAMPA LOSS

The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

MORE CAPITALS: GET TO KNOW MICHAL KEMPNY

That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to www.capfriendly.com, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.