Alex Ovechkin's historical tally was not enough on Saturday as the Capitals fell 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils. Washington has now lost six of its last seven games as the team continues to skid.
Here is how the Caps lost.
No goals on two early power plays
For a Caps team in desperate need of getting right, they had two golden opportunities to take control against a weak team shedding all of its best players. Tom Wilson drew a roughing call from Connor Carrick at 2:36 and less than a minute after the power play expired, Travis Zajac put Washington right back on the power play with a high-stick to Michal Kempny.
Despite two early opportunities, the Caps did not score a goal and failed to build any offensive momentum at all.
A misplay by Eller
Richard Panik was hooked in the offensive zone and lost the puck, but Dmitry Orlov picked it up and passed to Lars Eller. Eller attempted a soft backhand pass to Carl Hagelin that was picked off by Damon Severson. At that moment, Jesper Bratt bolted down the ice and Severson delivered the pass to send him on the breakaway which Bratt scored after faking a shot to freeze Ilya Samsonov and deking around him.
Todd Reirden was displeased after the goal and benched Eller and Michal Kempny for the remainder of the first period.
Jensen loses his man
Defending against a New Jersey power play, Nick Jensen had to deal with Wayne Simmonds, who parked himself next to the net. That's where Simmonds likes to work and he is very effective there.
Nikita Gusev delivered a pass to the front of the net, but Jensen, anticipating the shot, went down to a knee. He remained there when Bratt tried to redirect the puck on net. The redirect was weak and from the high slot, an easy save for Samsonov had it gotten to him. Instead, it deflected off of Jensen and right to Simmonds who buried the puck.
New Jersey gave Washington two power plays to work with in the third period in a tie game. The Caps did not score on either and then returned the favor by giving up two power plays of their own. Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for hooking and Michal Kempny was caught slashing Kyle Palmieri just 71 seconds later.
Damon Severson scored with 1:59 remaining in the game to give New Jersey the 3-2 lead.
Washington fired 34 shots on goal for the game so you may be tempted to think a hot goalie stoned them. That's not what happened. Washington did not get nearly enough pressure in front of the net and fired far too many shots from too high in the zone to effectively challenge New Jersey netminder Mackenzie Blackwood.
When Tom Wilson parked himself in front of Blackwood on a power play in the second period, the Caps scored. There was not nearly enough of that on Saturday.
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