A shorthanded Caps team entered Wednesday's game, lost Evgeny Kuznetsov midway through the first period and lost the game midway through the third period.
After playing a tight game for two periods, the Jets finally broke the tie in the third period and added an empty-net goal for the 3-1 win.
Here are five reasons the Caps lost:
So many injuries
Braden Holtby was a surprise scratch with an upper-body injury, Michal Kempny was out with an illness and midway through the first period, Kuznetsov took an elbow to the head from Brandon Tanev and had to leave the game for an upper-body injury.
Not having your starting goalie, your top line center or a top-four defenseman makes it hard for any team to win, especially against an opponent as good as Winnipeg.
The second period
With no Braden Holtby and no Michal Kempny, the Caps came out ready to play and completely dominated Winnipeg in the opening frame. Washington took a 1-0 lead in the first and outshot the Jets 10-2.
Things completely flipped in the second period.
Winnipeg took to the Caps in the middle frame as they outshot Washington 14-10, drew two penalties and scored a power play goal to tie the game at one.
The first period was about as perfect a game as a shorthanded Caps team could play. The second period, however, allowed the Jets to climb back into it.
Seven seconds on the power play
The Jets utilize a very similar power play to that of the Caps and it’s about as effective. In fact, Winnipeg is the only team with a better power play this season than Washington. That was on the display in the second period when it took just seven seconds for Winnipeg to carve up the penalty kill and score the game-tying goal.
Mark Scheifele was lined up in the T.J. Oshie spot in the slot ready to take the goal line pass from Kyle Connor and he buried it home just seven seconds into the power play.
A Backstrom shot that somehow did not go in
With the scored tied at 1 in the third, Nicklas Backstrom had a chance to give the Caps the lead. It looked like he did just that, but the puck just would not trickle over the line. Backstrom beat Connor Hellebuyck up high but the puck hit the crossbar. It did not go in. It trickled on the goal line before Hellebuyck swept it off with this stick. It did not go in. Hellebuyck could not control it and the puck trickled back on the line again before getting swept out by Dustin Byfuglien. Once again, It. Did. Not. Go. In.
Three different times it looked like the Caps had taken the lead and all three times the puck somehow did not go in.
One tough goal
Give Copley all the credit in the world. He was given the tough assignment of playing in Winnipeg on the back end of a back-to-back after playing the night before. For the most part, he was brilliant Wednesday.
Unfortunately, in a game that was as close as this one was, Copley’s lone mistake proved costly.
Ben Chiarot carried the puck over the blue line and fired a slap shot from distance that somehow got past the glove of Copley.
The puck was knuckling a bit and may have deflected slightly off the stick of John Carlson – it was not clear from the replay – but in a 1-1 game in the third period, Copley needs to save a shot like that. It was harder than it looked, but the Caps really needed that save.
MORE CAPITALS NEWS:
- 5 Reasons Why: A shorthanded Caps team falls to the Jets 3-1
- Kuzy Out of the Game: Kuznetsov leaves the game after taking an elbow to head
- Lineup Changes vs. Jets: Copley starts as Holtby is out with upper-body injury