The Capitals had their four-game win streak snapped with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim. Trevor Zegras had the winner in the extra frame with a beautiful shot over the glove of Vitek Vanecek. The Capitals are now 9-2-5 on the season.
Here are a few takeaways from the Capitals’ west coast affair:
Capitals overtime streak hits five
Overtime hasn't been kind to the Capitals so far this season.
They've gone to the extra frame in five of their 16 games so far this season, and have lost all of them. The Ducks earned the winner with a Zegras goal, his second of the night, at the 4:14 mark of the period.
Washington reached the extra period after Tom Wilson tied the game late in the third on a deflection from a John Carlson point shot. That tied the game on what had been a strong third period by the Capitals.
Pilon nets first NHL goal
Before the team went west, the Capitals recalled Garrett Pilon from the Hershey Bears for what originally seemed to be just an insurance move before the west coast swing.
But with Lars Eller out due to COVID-19 protocols, Pilon was inserted into the lineup as the team’s third-line center. And in the third period, Pilon made his second NHL game even more memorable when he redirected a point shot from Martin Fehervary into the net to tie the game at one.
Pilon has five goals in 13 games for the Bears this season, and his scoring ways continued when the Capitals needed it.
Jensen’s unlucky streak continues
Nick Jensen has never been known as an offensive-minded defenseman. Through 16 games this year he’s got two goals, but has just 10 in his 347 career games.
That makes it seem a bit more cruel that Jensen has had two goals waved off this season for offsides, the second of which came just minutes into the first period of Tuesday’s game that would've tied the score at one apiece. Jensen, who has had another good season to this point, has been a bit snake-bitten.
As it turned out, that goal would’ve been important for the Capitals in such a low-scoring affair.
Capitals dominated on draw
The Capitals, as one might expect down three of their regular NHL centers, were dominated on faceoffs against the Ducks. But the one who suffered the worst fate was Evgeny Kuznetsov, who finished 6-of-22 in the faceoff circle.
In total, the Capitals were just 17-of-52 (32.6%) on faceoffs, as the Ducks were able to win most draws on the night.
As a team so far this season, the Capitals were 47.2% on faceoffs entering tonight, but with Nic Dowd (56.4%) and Eller (51.1%) out, they struggled mightily.
Lars Eller misses due to COVID protocols
The Capitals got even more problematic news early Tuesday when the team announced center Eller would miss the game due to COVID-19 protocols.
It is unclear when Eller will be next available on the team’s road trip. They play the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night, followed by the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and the Seattle Kraken on Sunday.
Absent Eller, the Capitals were without three of their top four projected centers with Dowd and Nicklas Backstrom on the shelf with injuries. Their returns are unclear, though it appears Dowd is closer to a return than Backstrom is.