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3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Kings

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USA TODAY Sports

3 reasons why the Caps lost to the Kings

The Caps saw their three-game win streak snapped on Thursday in a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. It was a game in which Washington led 1-0 and 2-1, but they were unable to close out the Kings. Here's why.

9 seconds in the second period

In a span of just a few seconds, the Caps went from leading 2-1 to down 3-2. In the second period, Braden Holtby retrieved the puck behind the net, but did not clear it and instead hit it off the wall to the blue line where Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid was able to pounce on it. MacDermid shot the puck quickly and it deflected off of Johnny Brodzinski and through the five-hole of Holtby. After the ensuing faceoff, Jussi Jokinen managed to sneak his way behind Madison Bowey who was caught out of position. A pass from Trevor Lewis sprung Jokinen who beat Holtby through the five-hole again. Two goals from the Kings and it came in a span of just nine seconds. That is tough swing for anyone to overcome.

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The Caps defense lost Kings players behind them

As mentioned above, Jokinen was able to sneak behind Bowey for the Kings' third goal of the game, but that was not the first time the Caps defense lost track of someone. In the first period, the Caps had possession of the puck in the offensive zone, but when it looked like the Kings may gain the puck on a battle along the boards, Marion Gaborik did not hesitate. He was up near the blue line and decided to gamble as he made his way up ice and behind Brooks Orpik who looked like he had no idea Gaborik was behind him. Gaborik took the pass, again from Lewis, and was off to the races. Holtby made the initial save, but the rebound bounced off of Tyler Graovac and over the shoulder of Holtby. Of Los Angeles' three goals, two of them were the result of a forward getting in behind the defense.

MORE CAPITALS: NATHAN WALKER WAIVED BY CAPS, LOOKS TO BE BOUND FOR HERSHEY

Jonathan Quick

Quick is one of those goalies who sparks a lot of debate. Some people think he's the best goalie in the NHL. Others think he is too inconsistent and makes simple saves look harder than they need to be. Wherever you stand on him, he was certainly on his game Thursday. Quick made 27 saves including a handful of brilliant stops that ultimately kept the Kings ahead. One moment in particular stood out in the third period when he made a diving stop on Christian Djoos to prevent the late, game-tying goal.

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How Holtby’s return could help Capitals escape mid-season doldrums

How Holtby’s return could help Capitals escape mid-season doldrums

The Capitals look to rebound from an ugly loss with a road game against the Nashville Predators (8 p.m. NBC Sports Washington). Washington has lost two games in a row and five of eight. The Predators beat the Capitals 6-3 on Dec. 31 at Capital One Arena and has won five in a row over against them.

Here is what to watch for in tonight’s game:  

1. Back to Holtby

After sustaining an eye injury in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Braden Holtby is expected to play against the Predators. The Capitals did not hold a morning skate on Tuesday after traveling following a 4-1 loss at home Monday to the St. Louis Blues. Holtby started last season’s game in Nashville, a 6-3 loss on Nov. 14, 2017 where he allowed four goals in the second period and was pulled from the game. But Holtby still leads the NHL in even-strength save percentage (.939) since Nov. 4 among goalies who have started at least 13 games and it could be time to get him more consistent work – even with backup Pheonix Copley playing well behind him. Holtby has had his rest. If he’s healthy, it might be time to let him carry the weight for a while. 

2. Another Chance for Burakovsky?

There’s constant talk now about the future of Andre Burakovsky, who returned to the lineup Monday after a two-game absence. Caps coach Todd Reirdan was clear about what Burakovsky had to do to stay in the lineup. We’ll see tonight if that happens. Playing on the third line with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller, Burakovsky played just 10:46 against the Blues and was on the ice for a goal against. But he did have three shots on goal and seemed engaged. Burakovsky has been a healthy scratch in six of the past 16 games. 

3. No. 700 for Oshie

One night after defenseman Brooks Orpik played in his 1000th career game, forward T.J. Oshie will reach a milestone of his own with game No. 700. Oshie has been kept off the score sheet the past two games, but had two goals in a Jan. 8 game against the Philadelphia Flyers. 

4. Powering Up

Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal in the loss to St. Louis on Monday might mean the Capitals are coming around in that area. A struggle for weeks, they at least now have two goals on the man advantage in the past four games. But they have slipped all the way to 14thin the NHL (21.2 percent) so there is work left to be done.

Monday’s game featured much better puck movement by the top unit.   

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How Holtby’s return could help Capitals escape mid-season doldrums

How Holtby’s return could help Capitals escape mid-season doldrums

The Capitals look to rebound from an ugly loss with a road game against the Nashville Predators (8 p.m. NBC Sports Washington). Washington has lost two games in a row and five of eight. The Predators beat the Capitals 6-3 on Dec. 31 at Capital One Arena and has won five in a row over against them. Here is what to watch for in tonight’s game:   

1. Back to Holtby

After sustaining an eye injury in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Braden Holtby is expected to play against the Predators. The Capitals did not hold a morning skate on Tuesday after traveling following a 4-1 loss at home Monday to the St. Louis Blues. Holtby started last season’s game in Nashville, a 6-3 loss on Nov. 14, 2017 where he allowed four goals in the second period and was pulled from the game. But Holtby still leads the NHL in even-strength save percentage (.939) since Nov. 4 among goalies who have started at least 13 games and it could be time to get him more consistent work – even with backup Pheonix Copley playing well behind him. Holtby has had his rest. If he’s healthy, it might be time to let him carry the weight for a while.  2.Another Chance for Burakovsky?There’s constant talk now about the future of Andre Burakovsky, who returned to the lineup Monday after a two-game absence. Caps coach Todd Reirdan was clear about what Burakovsky had to do to stay in the lineup. We’ll see tonight if that happens. Playing on the third line with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller, Burakovsky played just 10:46 against the Blues and was on the ice for a goal against. But he did have three shots on goal and seemed engaged. Burakovsky has been a healthy scratch in six of the past 16 games.  3. No. 700 for OshieOne night after defenseman Brooks Orpik played in his 1000th career game, forward T.J. Oshie will reach a milestone of his own with game No. 700. Oshie has been kept off the score sheet the past two games, but had two goals in a Jan. 8 game against the Philadelphia Flyers.  4. Powering UpAlex Ovechkin’s power-play goal in the loss to St. Louis on Monday might mean the Capitals are coming around in that area. A struggle for weeks, they at least now have two goals on the man advantage in the past four games. But they have slipped all the way to 14thin the NHL (21.2 percent) so there is work left to be done. Monday’s game featured much better puck movement by the top unit.    

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