WASHINGTON – For the first time since March 29, 2014, the Capitals fell to the Boston Bruins 1-0 on Sunday, snapping a 14-game win streak for Washington against the Bruins.
A confident Caps team got Alex Ovechkin back from a one-game suspension for skipping the All-Star Game and snapped a seven-game losing streak on Friday against the top team in the west. And yet, they were thoroughly outplayed by a team they have owned in recent years. Braden Holtby did his best to keep the game close with 37 saves, but the Caps’ offense was asleep for the first 40 minutes and a late rally wasn’t enough to get them the win.
The Caps have now lost eight of their last nine games.
Here are four reasons the Caps lost.
Not enough offense
Washington did not make life very difficult at all for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in this one. The Caps were outshot 15-6 in the first period and 15-7 in the second. Washington has a quality over quantity philosophy when it comes to shooting, but this was not a case of the Caps just being selective with their shots. Offensively, they just had nothing going for them.
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) February 3, 2019
The Caps tried to rally late and got a number of quality opportunities in the third with 11 shots on goal, but Rask was locked in and did his best work in those final 20 minutes.
The power play
The Caps’ power play struggles returned on Sunday as Washington could get nothing going with the extra man. At all.
In the second period, Kevan Miller was sent to the box for cross checking Andre Burakovsky. In the spirit of the Super Bowl, Washington should have declined the penalty.
The Bruins had the best opportunity on the power play, despite the fact that they were the shorthanded team. Chris Wagner stole the puck away from Kuznetsov in the neutral zone and was in on a breakaway. He was slowed up by a great backcheck from T.J. Oshie, but Wagner still managed to get a shot off and forced a save from Holtby.
Trailing by one in the third period, Washington had a golden opportunity to tie the game when Charlie McAvoy was called for hooking. Less than 40 seconds later, however, Washington gave away that opportunity on a hook by T.J. Oshie and Zdeno Chara.
The Caps finished the game with no goals on three opportunities.
Boston responds after the power play
Washington was so out of sorts on that second period power play, that the Bruins were able to take advantage. Just 19 seconds after the penalty expired, David Krejci scored the game’s first goal.
The Caps lost the puck in the offensive zone and the Bruins took it in the opposite direction. Tom Wilson needed a line change so he went to the bench for Brett Connolly. That made Connolly late on the play and trailing a wide-open Torey Krug. David Pastrnak found Krug with the pass and Krug was free to find Krejci with the cross-ice pass for the goal.
Rask didn’t have to do much in the first two periods, but the Caps did make him earn his paycheck in the third. After managing just 13 shots in the first two periods, Washington fired 11 shots at Rask in the final frame and made him earn the shutout. He did just thought with a strong period as he turned aside every shot he faced, including three from Ovechkin and four from John Carlson.
MORE CAPITALS NEWS