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Caps see another 3-on-3 OT end quickly, this time against Bruins


Caps see another 3-on-3 OT end quickly, this time against Bruins

News and notes from the Capitals’ 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins Tuesday night at TD Garden:

How it happened: Right wing David Pastrnak, the Bruins’ first-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft, scored once in the third period and again just 12 seconds into the 3-on-3 overtime to give the Bruins the win in OT. Defenseman Nate Schmidt scored the lone goal for the Capitals in a third-period power-play goal, assisted by defenseman Madison Bowey and veteran forward Zach Sill.

Quick strike: If there is one thing the Caps are learning early in the preseason, it’s that not many games tied after regulation are going to get to a shootout. After seeing the Hurricanes score just 57 seconds into Monday night’s preseason opener, the Caps saw the Bruins end Tuesday night’s game 12 seconds into the overtime when Pastrnak finished off a 2-on-1 with David Krejci. Caps defenseman John Carlson was the lone player back for the Caps, who also had Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky on the ice.    

Latta injured: Center Michael Latta left the game with a lower body injury and did not return. According to the club, he will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. Latta left the game with 7:32 remaining in the third period. He took 15 shifts and logged 11:40 in ice time, including 58 seconds on the power play and 48 seconds on the penalty kill. He was a minus-1, won 8 of 10 faceoffs and delivered two hits. Latta joins left wing Marcus Johansson (undisclosed) on the Caps’ preseason injured list.

Shutout streak: Caps goaltender Justin Peters started the game and stopped all 15 shots he faced in 29:43 of ice time. Philipp Grubauer took over midway through the second period and allowed one goal on 16 shots in regulation and one goal on one shot in overtime. (By the way, goalies already are grumbling about their goals-against averages and save percentages swelling this season because of 3-on-3 goals). The third period goal allowed by Grubauer was the first allowed by the Caps in regulation in the preseason, snapping a shutout streak of 108:16.

Inside the box score: Justin Williams played 19:17 in his Caps preseason debut, missing the net on his two shot attempts and finishing a minus-2. He saw 2:14 of power play time and 2:04 of shorthanded time. Schmidt (23:40) and Carlson (23:39) led all Caps in ice time. Defenseman Tyler Lewington got into the first fight of the preseason, dropping the gloves with Justin Hickman. The Caps won 59 percent of their faceoffs, led by Latta and Chandler Stephenson, each of whom won 8 of 10 draws.

Look ahead: The Caps will return to Kettler for practice on Wednesday and will resume their preseason schedule Thursday night in Montreal. Caps coach Barry Trotz said he will make a round of cuts sometime before the weekend. He said he would like to start the regular season with a 22-man roster consisting of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies.

MORE CAPITALS: Oshie, Carlson endorse hiring of Tortorella

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Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?


Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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.