Capitals

Capitals

The Caps battled back from a 2-0 deficit, survived a penalty shot in overtime, but still came up short in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Here are three reasons why the Caps lost.

10 seconds

The first period looked fairly even between the two teams until a disastrous 10 seconds gave Dallas a 2-0 lead.

The Caps’ top line was in the middle of a dominating shift in the offensive zone. After some good work on the cycle, the puck came out to Matt Niskanen on the blue line. He got a bit too cute and tried a no-look pass, but the puck was tipped at the blue line by Jason Spezza. Gemel Smith tipped the puck into the neutral zone to Spezza, who had nothing but ice and Braden Holtby between him and the net. His breakaway goal put Dallas up 1-0.

Just 10 seconds later, Holtby had the puck behind the net. He tried to fire it along the boards, but Tyler Pitlick got in front of it and then was able to skate out to the front of the net and fire the puck past a scrambling Holtby.

It wasn't quite the record-breaking two-goal swing in Montreal in which the Canadiens scored two goals in two seconds, but it still was not an ideal sequence of events.

Puck management

This has been a theme for the Caps lately and not in a good way.

Dallas’ first goal came off a turnover by Niskanen. The second goal came off a turnover by Holtby.

 

Can you guess how they got goal No. 3?

Jakub Vrana had the puck behind the red line, but felt the pressure from Spezza and coughed it up. The Stars made quick work of the turnover as Valeri Nichushkin got the puck to Spezza who fed Jamie Benn in front for the goal.

Vrana also stumbled in overtime on a breakout pass which Jason Dickinson pounced on, took in himself and fired the game-winning goal past Holtby.

An unusual situation

A penalty shot is typically awarded immediately after play since the resulting play usually leads to the offending team gaining possession. Rarely do you see a delayed penalty get called as a penalty shot, but that's exactly what happened to the Caps.

In overtime, Tyler Seguin had a breakaway opportunity, but was slashed by John Carlson. Dallas maintained possession of the puck, however, a the penalty was delayed thus giving Dallas some extra seconds with the puck and a chance to score.

Playing 3-on-3 overtime after a 60 minute game is taxing. Giving a team a delayed penalty tired them out even more.  It was an unusual situation that you rarely see and Washington never really recovered. Holtby stopped Seguin's shot, but the Caps were dominated in the extra time and eventually lost and yet another turnover.

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