What looked like a sure win for Washington dissolved in the third period and overtime into a 4-3 loss to Winnipeg. Here's why.
The Capitals were not good in the defensive zone. At all. They could not transition out of their own zone and turned the puck over frequently. On Winnipeg's first goal, they entered Washington's defensive zone at 6:02 and scored 43 seconds later. During that time, Brooks Orpik battled Josh Morrissey in the corner for the puck but couldn't get possession despite knocking Morrissey to the ice, Andre Burakovsky got possession of the puck but tried a backhand pass that Madison Bowey couldn't control that resulted in a turnover and Alex Chiasson was beaten by Toby Enstrom for a loose puck...twice. Had they cleared the puck on any those opportunities, it would have prevented the goal. That was the kind of night Washington had in the defensive zone all game long.
A two-goal lead in the third period should be safe, but you can't just sit back and allow the other team to pour on the offense. Yet, once John Carlson extended Washington's lead to 3-1, the Caps' offense disappeared. After Carlson's goal there was about 13 minutes remaining in the game. Winnipeg took over with 23 shot attempts, 13 of which were on goal. The Caps had one single shot attempt, a shot on goal from Dmitry Orlov. There was too much time left in the game to manage only one shot and give up 23 attempts to the opponent and expect to win.
A late slash by Dustin Byfuglien
Trailing 3-2 late in the third, the Jets pulled goalie Connor Hellebuyck for the extra attacker. Jay Beagle broke the puck out of the defensive zone along with T.J. Oshie for a 2-on-1. With no goalie, it should have been game over. Beagle, however, was forced to the side and took a brutal slash to the ribs from Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. He still managed to get a pass off, but it was off target and just out of reach for Oshie. Byfuglien was a given a two-minute minor for slashing, but his slash clearly affected the pass and prevented an easy empty-net goal. Sixty-two seconds later, the Jets tied the game at 3.