In what was supposed to be a lopsided series, the Caps find themselves in a 2-1 series deficit against the Toronto Maple Leafs after Monday's Game 3 loss.
1. Bottle up that start
For the first five minutes of the game, the Caps looked like the team we all expected them to be for the series. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie came ready to play and were relentless to start. The top line scored both of Washington’s first two goals on the night to take a 2-0 lead. They were never able to get back to that level the rest of the game or really in either of the first two games of the series. When they are playing that good, no one can beat them, but you can’t play at your peak for five minutes through three games and expect to win a series.
2. Turning point
It is not hard to recognize where this game turned. Up 3-1 in the second period, Washington had a full two-minute two-man advantage. You have to get at least one goal in that situation. It doesn’t matter how good the penalty kill is and, by the way, this isn’t exactly the Steel Curtain when it comes to penalty kills. To make things worse, the Caps got another power play about a minute after the two-man advantage ended and they could not capitalize on that either. If you don’t’ score on a power play, the momentum goes in the other direction and that’s exactly how it played out on Monday.
3. Shooting blanks
Locked in a 3-3 game in the third period, Washington did not get their first shot on goal until 13:26 into the third period. That’s not good enough. They were completely on their heels in the third and put almost no pressure on Frederik Andersen in one of the most critical periods of the entire season. Washington finished with only three shots in the entire third period.
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