The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers went 65 minutes without a goal Wednesday before the Rangers were finally able to win in a shootout. Philipp Grubauer turned in his best performance of the season, but it wasn't enough as Washington suffered its third straight loss.
Here's why the Caps lost.
Washington was playing this game with a crooked site evidently because the passes were just off. Throughout the game, there were several turnovers off of poor passes, many of which were unforced. It was hard for the Caps to get anything going when they were constantly giving the puck away to the Rangers. They just seemed out of sync all game. You can point to the holiday break as a reason, but the Rangers had just as many days off and did not look nearly as sloppy.
Caps’ power play
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Caps struggled on the power play. Again. Barry Trotz alluded to some changes to the power play, but it was hard to see what those changes were considering Washington could not keep possession long enough to get the power play set up. The Rangers were clearing the puck out about as quickly as the Caps were getting the puck into the offensive zone. Washington failed to score on either power play opportunity and really did not threaten Ondrej Pavelec at all.
The third period
Locked in a 0-0 tie, the game was up for grabs heading into the third period. The Rangers did what they could to take advantage. The Caps did not. New York fired seven shots on goal in the first two minutes of the period and outshot Washington 18-6 through the full 20 minutes. Philipp Grubauer played well in the first two periods, but really raised his game in the final period with several phenomenal saves to keep Washington in it, otherwise this game never would have made it as far as a shootout.