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Capitals blow a four-goal lead for the first time since 2013 in a 6-5 loss to the Anaheim Ducks

Capitals blow a four-goal lead for the first time since 2013 in a 6-5 loss to the Anaheim Ducks

The Capitals blew a four-goal lead for the first time in five years and lost to the Anaheim Ducks 6-5 in at Capital One Arena on Sunday, snapping the team's seven-game win streak.

Here are five reasons why the Caps lost:

1. The Penalty Kill

Washington has been better in this area lately, but consecutive boarding calls on defenseman Dmitry Orlov in the third period led to power-play goals by Pontus Aberg and Hampus Lindholm and allowed the Ducks to tie the game 5-5. Washington hadn’t allowed a power-play goal in its past five games. The Capitals last blew a four-goal lead in an April 2013 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Washington ultimately won that game 6-5, courtesy of a Mike Green overtime goal. 

2. Careless Turnovers

The Capitals really gave Anaheim life in the second period up 5-1. A turnover by Evgeny Kuznetsov in the neutral zone on an outlet pass from John Carlson allowed the Ducks to go the other way. Rickard Rakell knocked a rebound past Braden Holtby to make it 5-3. It was Anaheim’s second goal in 55 seconds and set the stage for the thirds period rally. On the go-ahead goal at 14:55 of the third period, Ryan Getzlaf stripped Lars Eller in the neutral zone just after a Washington power-play expired and he set up Aberg’s goal to make it 6-5. 

3. Ryan Miller

Down 3-1 at 13:19 of the first period after a Tom Wilson goal, the Ducks pulled starting goalie John Gibson and replaced him with veteran Ryan Miller, who made 19 of 21 shots and stopped all 13 he faced in the third period to give the Ducks a chance to rally. 

4. Bad Penalties

The boarding calls on Orlov drew the ire of Washington’s bench, but he put himself in bad position on both plays. Up 5-3 in the third period, it gave Anaheim more life than it already had. Orlov was also in bad position on the second-period goal by Andrew Cogliano that made it 5-2 and started the comeback.    

5. Stars and Milestones

There were little positives from this one. But Nicklas Backstrom gave the Caps a 1-0 lead 41 seconds into it when he slammed home an Alex Ovechkin pass on a 2-on-1 rush. That gave Backstrom 219 career goals for Washington and pushed him past Mike Ridley (218) for fourth on the franchise goals scored list. Backstrom, too, is on fire with eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past three games. 

Meanwhile, defenseman John Carlson had the secondary assist on Backstrom’s goal. That was career point 361, which pushed Carlson past Mike Green for fifth-most by a defenseman in franchise history. He added a second assist with the shot on Wilson’s tipped power-play goal.


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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

Friday saw the Toronto Maple Leafs pull ahead 3-2 and the Colorado Avalanche eliminate the favored Calgary Flames. Saturday provided another elimination game and two teams pulled ahead 3-2 in their series.

Here are the results from Saturday.

St. Louis Blues eliminate Winnipeg Jets with 3-2 win

The Blues return to the second round of the playoffs after they were eliminated in the first round last season.

The Blues rally started 23 seconds into the game, when Jaden Schwartz put home a Brayden Schenn rebound.

Schwartz followed with two more goals, completing the hat trick. It's the second natural hat trick in a playoff series clinching game since Geoff Courtnall in 1992.

The Blues await the winner of the Nashville-Dallas series.

Dallas Stars pull ahead of Nashville Predators in 5-3 victory

The Stars were able to steal one from the Predators at Bridgestone Arena thanks to Jason Dickinson and Alexander Radulov's two goal performances.

Tyler Seguin added a goal of his own to pull the Stars ahead 4-2 at the end of the second period, and Ben Bishop recorded 30 saves.

The Stars have a chance to close the series at home Monday night.

Washington Capitals take upperhand on Carolina Hurricanes with 6-0 shutout

After dropping Game 4 in Carolina 2-1, the Caps exploded for six goals against the Hurricanes in a 6-0 win.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the opening two goals. He leads the Capitals in playoff goals with five and had a four point night.

The Caps also got production from their bottom six with Brett Connolly's goal and Nic Dowd's converted penalty shot. It's the first penalty shot a Caps player has successfully made in the playoffs.

Braden Holtby's shutout gave him seven in the playoffs, surpassing Olaf Kolzig's six for the franchise lead. The Caps have a chance to win the series in Carolina Monday night.


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Todd Reirden on TJ Oshie's surgery: 'It's a tough situation for our team'

Todd Reirden on TJ Oshie's surgery: 'It's a tough situation for our team'

ARLINGTON — Capitals forward T.J. Oshie had a surgical procedure Friday to repair a broken right collarbone and remains out indefinitely.  

Oshie was not at Capital One Arena for Washington’s 6-0 win in Game 5 of its Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes. He was injured with five minutes to go in Thursday’s Game 4 loss in Raleigh when nudged from behind by Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele and slamming hard into the boards near full speed. 

“There's not one person who can take T.J. Oshie's spot for all that he is as a human being, player on the ice, off the ice all the stuff that he adds,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said at his media availability on Sunday afternoon. “But what I did notice is that everybody picked their level up last night. And that's what we're going to need going into Raleigh for [Monday]."

That’s when Washington, ahead 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, can eliminate Carolina in Game 6. It’s something it has done successfully on the road in recent years in Philadelphia (2016), Toronto (2017), Pittsburgh and Columbus (2018). All series the Capitals were up 3-2. In all four they won Game 6. 

But they won’t have Oshie this time and he is the emotional engine that has helped fuel some of those series-ending performances. There is still no exact timetable for Oshie’s return. The Capitals have avoided ruling him out for the season and Reirden artfully dodged a question about whether he’d be ready for training camp. 

A broken collarbone usually doesn’t take longer than two months to heal barring complications. But that’s almost certainly going to be after the playoffs ends even if the Capitals make a repeat run to the Stanley Cup Final. Last year they won it on June 7 in five games against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

“I do know that T.J. Oshie is going to do everything he can, and we're not willing to put a timetable on it right now with regard to any time,” Reirden said. “Just lots of these things take a different course in terms of how they rehab and don't rehab. I just know that I can tell you about T.J., he's all-in at all times, and that's a great person to have around our room at the very least." 

Oshie had 25 goals and 29 assists in 65 regular-season games. He missed 11 of 13 games with a concussion. He had eight goals and 13 assists in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. He also plays the “bumper” role on the top power-play unit and kills penalties.

Oshie tweeted thanks to fans both before and after Washington’s 6-0 win on Saturday. In the third period, periodic “T.J. Oshie!” chants rang from the sellout crowd at Capital One Arena. 

“It was nice to see the crowd give [Oshie] a little love,” center Nicklas Backstrom said on Saturday.  

Added Reirden: “That's obviously a tough loss for us, but we're prepared to go without him as we saw last night. It's a tough situation for our team, but I certainly liked our response last night and was proud of our effort in terms of how we played and how we were playing with him in the back of our mind."