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Magical 2018 ends on a sour note as Capitals fall prey to Nashville​​​​​​​ Predators

Magical 2018 ends on a sour note as Capitals fall prey to Nashville​​​​​​​ Predators

WASHINGTON -- The Capitals hoped to end a magical 2018 on a high note, but instead, they fell prey to the Nashville Predators 6-3 on Monday.  Washington led 2-0 and 3-1, but gave up four unanswered goals as the Predators brought the Caps' four-game win streak to an end.

Here are five reasons the Caps lost.

1. Quick Responses:

Washington looked in control through the first half of the game, but they were not able to shake the Predators. After the Caps took a 2-0 lead in the first period, Rocco Grimaldi made it 3-1 just 23 seconds later. When Chandler Stephenson gave Washington the 3-1 lead, Nashville again responded with a goal from Miikka Salomaki just 95 seconds later.

The Caps initially were the better team, but the Predators never allowed them to build on their lead. Instead, they did just enough to stick around until they took control in the second period.

2. No Control of the Slot:

All four of Nashville’s goals came from close in front of goalie Braden Holtby. Grimaldi’s tip-in goal came very close in on net with no Cap anywhere close to him. Salomaki fed Nick Bonino right on the doorstep, Bonino fed it back to Salomaki for the easy tap-in. Both players were behind the Caps’ defense. Ryan Johansen tied the game at three as he pounced on a soft rebound by Holtby before anyone else could get to it. Nashville took the lead towards the end of the second as Grimaldi cut to the center and fired a shot on Holtby and Frederick Gaudreau got his stick on it in the slot to chip it over the shoulder of Holtby.

That’s two rebound goals against Holtby which you do not usually see given how great he is at rebound control, but tonight when he needed the help, the defense was not able to box the Predators out from in front of the net and they seemed to lose all the battles close to Holtby.

3. A 4:33 Stretch in the Second:

The second period saw the Predators score three unanswered goals to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. It took them just 4:33. Salomaki’s goal came at the 9:57 mark of the second period. That was the real turning point as Nashville never looked back. Just over two minutes later, Johansen tied the game at three and less than three minutes after that, Gaudreau gave Nashville the lead for the first time in front of a stunned Capital One Arena.

Erasing a two-goal deficit twice in this game was deflating enough for Washington. The quick succession in which the Predators were able to take the lead was a real punch to the gut for the Caps and they never seemed to recover.

4. Third Period Insurance:

What’s worse than giving up three unanswered goals? Giving up five. After taking the 4-3 lead, Nashville weathered an early period Caps’ flurry in the third including Washington’s first (and only) power play of the game. Then midway into the third, Viktor Arvidsson was able to feed the puck ty Johansen despite getting rubbed out into the boards creating a break in for Nashville. Johansen dropped the puck off to Ryan Ellis and he rifled the shot from the faceoff circle to extend the Predators’ lead to two.

Any hope of a comeback came to an end when Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov both took minor penalties late in the third giving Nashville a full two-minute two-man advantage which Viktor Arvidsson took advantage of to make the score 6-3.

5. The Drought Continues:

Alex Ovechkin's goal drought reached six games as he was again blanked on Monday. The Caps' top line of Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie has not scored an even-strength goal since Dec. 15 when Ovechkin recorded a tally against Buffalo.


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Capitals vs. Ducks Game 23: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Capitals vs. Ducks Game 23: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

It is Week 10 of the hockey season.

The Capitals are sitting at 15-2, having just added another win after their last game against the Boston Bruins, a dramatic 3-2 shootout victory. 

The Capitals will be hosting the Anaheim Ducks at the Capital One Arena Monday night. Currently, the Ducks have a 10-9 record, just beating the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Saturday. 

Now, here is all the information you need to know in order to watch Monday night’s game.


What: Washington Capitals vs. Anaheim Ducks

Where: Capital One Arena

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Ducks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Ducks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, SiriusXM Channel 91, Streaming 920


6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live

6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

7:00 PM: NHL: Anaheim Ducks @ Capitals

9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

10:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live



C Nick Dowd, upper body, out

LW Carl Hagelin, upper body, out


D Hampus Lindholm, undisclosed, injury reserve

RW Ondrej Kase, jaw injury, day-to-day 



John Carlson, D: John Carlson's eight goals make him the team's highest-scoring defender, and his 24 assists lead the Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin, LW: Ovechkin leads the team with 14 goals this season. Ovechkin also is in fourth on the team with 10 assists.


Jakob Silfverberg, LW: Team-leader in goals made this season racking up nine goals. Tied for the most assists, with eight. 

Rickard Rakell, C: Contributed 14 points, the second-most on the Ducks, and shares the tie with eight assists. 


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Caps finally solve Halak for improbable shootout win

Caps finally solve Halak for improbable shootout win

The Capitals needed a goal from T.J. Oshie with less than a minute remaining to force overtime on Saturday where they would go on to defeat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in a shootout.

It looked like Jaroslav Halak would once again pull off a miraculous win as he turned aside 42 shots, but the Caps kept up the pressure late to tie the game and get back in the win column.

Saturday's win is now Washington's 15th in the last 16 contests against the Bruins.

Here is how the Caps won.

Boyd makes the most of his opportunity

On Friday, Travis Boyd was a Hershey Bear. With Nic Dowd and Carl Hagelin both injured but without enough money under the cap for Boyd, the Caps recalled Tyler Lewington on Friday and skated seven defensemen and only 11 forwards against the Montreal Canadiens. On Saturday, the team sent Lewington and Ilya Samsonov to Hershey and recalled Vitek Vanecek and Boyd. The extra cap space the team gained from Vanecek taking Samsonov's spot allowed them to recall Boyd and skate four full forward lines. The impact of Boyd's addition was felt in the first period when Boyd scored a deflection to beat Halak and get the Caps on the board.

In seven games with the Caps this season, Boyd has one goal and four assists.

Caps get their power play setup on 6-on-5

For much of the night, the Caps just could not figure out Halak. They poured on the shots, but he was there each time and looked like he would be able to lead his team to the narrow victory. Late in regulation, the Caps pulled Braden Holtby for the extra attacker and the Caps gave Boston a power play look.

Washington had its top power play unit on the ice plus Tom Wilson. The goal looked like one right out of the power play's playbook with Evgeny Kuznetsov behind the goal line feeding Oshie in the slot. Oshie is great at getting those quick shots away from in close and he finally beat Halak with 59 seconds remaining.

Oshie was instrumental in setting up the goal as well as he blocked a clearing attempt from Zdeno Chara with his glove to keep the puck in the offensive zone just seconds before Kuznetsov set him up for the goal.

Backstrom and Vrana deliver in the shootout

Washington scored only twice on the shootout, but that would be all they needed.

The normally automatic Oshie was stopped on his shootout attempt putting Washington behind early on.I n a score-or-go-home situation for Nicklas Backstrom, he managed to sneak a shot in between the glove and the pad of Halak to force extra rounds of the shootout. Then Jakub Vrana pulled off one of the nices shootout goals you will ever see.