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Capitals find no joy in victory after giving up three-goal lead to Bruins

Capitals find no joy in victory after giving up three-goal lead to Bruins

The Capitals walked away with the overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, but you wouldn't know it from the mood in the locker room following the game.

For a team that has found wins hard to come by of late, heading into Wednesday's game Washington had lost three of their last four, you would expect some measure of relief after taking two points in the standings.

But there was none of that.

"It's not good enough," Nicklas Backstrom said. "We wanted to be a better team, we want to play tight, we want to be able to shut teams down."

RELATED: Caps hang on against Bruins in OT

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead over the Bruins, the Capitals took their foot off the gas, allowing Boston to tie the game and force overtime.

"We sat back," Justin Williams said. "Three-nothing lead isn't like it was 10 years ago. you still have to play the same way that got you the lead. We sat back and if you sit back five percent, ten percent, teams feel that and they put the pedal down."

The feeling of frustration and disappointment was evident following the game. It wasn't that the Caps had allowed Boston to erase a three-goal deficit, but the way they did it.

After taking a 3-0 lead at the 5:51 into the second period, the Capitals would not register another shot on goal until 12:28 had elapsed in the third period. That's a stretch of 26:27 without a single shot on goal.

Sloppy mistakes also cost the Caps, especially on Boston's second goal.

With the score 3-1, the game still felt very much in hand for Washington until Boston capitalized on an egregious turnover from Evgeny Kuznetsov.

David Pastrnak dispossessed Kuznetsov of the puck at the Bruins’ blue line with a poke check. Kuznetsov then nonchalantly turned to retrieve the puck, but Pastrnak out-hustled and outmuscled him for the breakaway goal. Suddenly Washington had lost control and Boston had seized the momentum.

The fact that Washington was still able to escape with two points was little consolation after the game.

"Results don't always show what happens," Braden Holtby said. "That's why you play 82, the averages even out over 82."

He was not referring to the three games the Caps had lost since Thanksgiving. He was referring to his own team and an effort that should not have been good enough to earn a win on Wednesday.

"Really we were lucky to get two points," Backstrom said. "I think that's on us."

MORE CAPITALS: Niskanen leaves game for 'precautionary reasons'

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2018-19 Metropolitan Division preview: Carolina Hurricanes

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USA TODAY Sports

2018-19 Metropolitan Division preview: Carolina Hurricanes

The Capitals have won the Metropolitan Division three straight years. Can they defend their title? Here’s a preview of each team in the division for the 2018-19 season.

Today's team: Carolina Hurricanes

2017-18 Results: 36-35-11, 83 points, sixth in the division. Did not qualify for the playoffs.

Notable acquisitions: F Micheal Ferland, F Andrei Svechnikov, D Dougie Hamilton, D Calvin de Haan, G Petr Mrazek, head coach Rod Brind’Amour

Notable departures: F Elias Lindholm, F Joakim Nordstrom, F Derek Ryan, F Jeff Skinner, F Lee Stempniak, D Noah Hanifin, G Cam Ward, head coach Bill Peters

When they will play the Caps: Dec. 14 in Raleigh, Dec. 27 in Washington, March 26 in Washington, March 28 in Raleigh

Offseason recap: The offseason was one of change for the Hurricanes as new owner Tom Dundon tried to make his mark. Peters and Ron Francis are out, Brind’Amour and Don Waddell are in as coach and general manager. Carolina’s new front office had a busy offseason with a number of splashy moves.

Hanifin, Lindholm and Skinner all will have new homes next season as the Hurricanes traded all three players in two big-time trades. Hanifin and Lindholm netted the team Hamilton, Ferland and a prospect while Skinner brought back a prospect, a second, a third and a sixth-round pick.

In addition, Carolina also added Svechnikov with the second-overall pick in the draft.

Biggest strength: Defense

Carolina was solid defensively last season, it just didn't seem that way because of how bad the goaltending was. Adding de Haan and Hamilton bolsters what was already a formidable blue line.

Biggest weakness: Goaltending

Did I mention how bad their goaltending was last season? Darling and Ward combined for a .909 save percentage, better only than the Buffalo Sabres. Ward put up better numbers (2.73 GAA, .906 save percentage) than Darling (3.18 GAA, .888 save percentage), but he has moved on to the Chicago Blackhawks. To replace him, the Hurricanes picked up Mrazek who also struggled last season (3.03 GAA, .902 save percentage).

So to recap, Ward and Darling both had subpar years, but to replace Ward the Hurricanes picked up a goalie who was worse.

It makes sense that Carolina would want to give Darling another shot at earning the starting job considering they traded for him to be their starter of the future, but just because the goaltending could not get much worse than last season is no guarantee it will be better.

2018-19 season outlook: The Hurricanes enter the season with a lot of question marks.

Can Brind'Amour handle the responsibilities of being a head coach in the NHL with zero head coaching experience at any level? Did they do enough to address their scoring woes? Will someone play like a starting-caliber goalie? Is Dundon breaking the mold of an NHL owner or will his meddling negatively impact the team? Will Hamilton adjust to his new team? Is Svetchnikov ready for a top-line role in his rookie season? Is Sebastian Aho a center?

If they can find positive answers to all of those questions, this is a team that could surprise. More likely, however, there are simply too many issues in Carolina right now for this team to make any real noise.

A new owner, new general manager, new head coach and a new-look roster are too much for one team to adjust to in one season.

2018-19 season prediction: The Hurricanes miss the playoffs and it's not close.

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Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

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USA TODAY Sports, Marvel and DC Comics

Heroes on the ice: Every Capitals player's superhero character

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Washington Capitals!

It's not hard to picture your favorite athletes as superheroes. What the Caps are able to do on the ice seems almost superhuman at times.

Heck, they even have uniforms!

SEE EVERY CAPITALS PLAYER'S SUPERHERO CHARACTER HERE

But the similarities don't just end with the physical attributes and abilities. When you begin to really think about each player, you can see a lot of similarities between each of them and some well-known superheroes.

If each Caps player was a superhero, which one would they be? Check out each player's superhero character here.

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