Capitals

Kraken stun Caps with late flurry of offense in OT loss

Capitals
Capitals forward T.J. Oshie and Kraken forward Yanni Gourde fight during the first period at Climate Pledge Arena

The Capitals appeared on their way to their second-straight win when the Seattle Kraken broke through, tying it up in the final minutes of regulation and scoring the game-winner seven seconds into overtime for a 3-2 Seattle victory.

Shots on goal were tough to come by Thursday night, but Washington cashed in on its early opportunities with goals from defenseman Martin Fehervary and winger Conor Sheary. Seattle then held the Capitals scoreless over the final two periods, climbing back into the game with a goal in each of the second and the third to force extra time.

Former Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer got the win for the Kraken, a team that rosters several skaters who used to play in Washington. The contest was also a homecoming for Washington native T.J. Oshie, who was injured the first time the Capitals played in Seattle last season.

With the loss, the Capitals moved to 10-11-4 on the season with 24 points toward the Metropolitan Division standings. They’ve picked up a point in two straight and four of their last five.

Here are three takeaways from the Capitals’ loss to the Kraken.

Caps see limited scoring opportunities

As much as the Capitals have struggled to score this season, they’ve usually been able to fire off a high number of shots. The Kraken didn’t let them barrage Grubauer with pucks too much, limiting them to 23 shots on goal across the 60 minutes.

However, the Capitals managed to convert enough chances to come away with a point, scoring both their goals in unlikely fashion. Fehervary, who had just scored his first of the year Wednesday on an empty netter, got the scoring started when Alex Ovechkin was hit while setting up for a shot. That left the puck in front of Fehervary with plenty of space around him, allowing him to set up a powerful slap shot.

 

Washington then took a 2-0 lead later in the period when Sheary was the beneficiary of some excellent passing on a power play. He received the puck from winger Marcus Johansson in the slot and found a lane to score his first power-play goal of the year.

Oshie drops the gloves

Oshie, born in Everett, Washington, played his first-ever NHL game in his home state Thursday and found himself in the middle of a fight halfway into the first period. Kraken center Yanni Gourde wasn’t pleased with a hit Oshie laid on winger Brandon Tanev, yelling through a scrum of players for him to drop the gloves. He obliged.

The fight ended up being a lengthy one where both players exchanged blows before referees broke it up because they skated into the Kraken bench. Oshie and Gourde have a history, engaging in a fight during their round-robin game in the 2019-20 playoffs back when Gourde played for the Tampa Bay Lighting.

Oshie doesn’t fight too often. According to Hockey Fights, Thursday’s bout marked just his 10th ever across the preseason, regular season and playoffs. But with many of his family and friends in attendance, the 36-year-old didn’t shy away from getting tangled up with Gourde.

Kraken find their spark late

The Kraken entered Thursday’s game coming off a 9-8 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings that ended with former Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky scoring the game-winner. Six different players scored in that game for Seattle, who carried the NHL’s third-highest scoring average at 3.82 goals per game.

For all the success they’ve had offensively, the Kraken don’t get off many shots. That proved to be the case against Washington as they managed to get just 25 off against Capitals netminder Darcy Kuemper.

It looked like Kuemper was going to get out of the game having allowed one goal all night, but Gourde played the role of hero by scoring on a rebound with 2:27 left in regulation.

Then, it was center Matt Beniers scoring on a breakaway off the opening faceoff in overtime to clinch the victory for Seattle.

The Capitals will look to bounce back Saturday when they travel to take on the Calgary Flames in the fourth of six straight games on the road.