Capitals

Capitals

The Caps lost three players in the first period but earned the win 1-0 with a late third-period goal.

How it happened: The Caps played with only nine forwards for the last two periods of the game, but still managed the win as Jay Beagle broke a scoreless tie with 5:11 remaining regulation. Braden Holtby also came up big for the Caps with 25 saves en route to his 24th career shutout.

What it means: The short-term gain is a win and two points. The long term effects are yet to be seen as the Caps will have to evaluate the health of T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller and Andre Burakovsky who all left in the first period due to injury. Heading into Friday's game, the Caps had zero man-games lost this season. That perfect streak now looks to be very much in jeopardy.

Dropping like flies: The first period was not kind to the Caps as five players left down the tunnel to the locker room. T.J. Oshie took the worst of an open-ice collision with Riley Sheahan and slowly made his way over to the bench. Tom Wilson was sent head-first into the boards by Danny DeKeyser on a hit that received a five-minute major for boarding. He left for the locker room, but returned soon after. While skating with the puck, Lars Eller took two hits from Tyler Bertuzzi and did not return after that shift. Late in the period, Burakovsky was seen doubled over on the bench and went to the locker room soon after. Finally, Justin Williams took what he believed to be a slew foot from Tomas Tatar. He immediately got up and tried to fight Tatar, but the Detroit winger wasn’t having it. Williams was assessed a minor for roughing and then he went back to the locker room and Alex Ovechkin served the penalty. Of those five players, Oshie, Eller and Burakovsky did not return to the game.

 

Power play struggles continue: The Caps scored two power play goals Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but neither came at 5-on-4. They failed to strike with the extra man again on Friday despite having two opportunities including a five-minute major to work with in the first period. The last time the Caps scored a goal at 5-on-4 was on Oct. 29 against the Vancouver Canucks. With no goal tonight, that extends their 5-on-4 slump to 10 games.

Beagle to the rescue again: Beagle is having an incredible season and he continued that with another clutch performance on Friday. Positioned right in front of goalie Jimmy Howard, Beagle was in perfect position to knock home a rebound off of a Dmitry Orlov shot for the game's only goal. It was Beagle's second game-winning goal of the season, tying a career high, and fourth goal overall.

Look ahead: The Capitals continue their five-game home stand on Sunday with a matinee matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. On Wednesday, they welcome the St. Louis Blues and then close out the homestand on Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.