DCpuckDrop’s newest contributor, Brittany Marie Evers, offers a fresh take on the ‘whatever it was’ in Nashville last night – as the Capitals fell to the Predators 6-3.
By Brittany Marie Evers
Last night, the Washington Capitals met up with the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena. Both teams were coming in off win streaks, and both teams seemed to have an equal advantage on the ice. The first period was marred with penalties and deflections, with Alex Chiasson calling the team’s performance “unacceptable” in the first intermission interview. The second period was easily the most explosive and dynamic period, but the Caps couldn’t find their groove and keep the Preds out of their zone. The third period ended with zero goals and tons of frustration.
First Period Penalties Wore On The Caps
At just 19 seconds into the first period Brooks Orpik found himself in the sin bin for hooking against Kyle Turris. This was just the first of three minor penalties that the Caps would receive in the first period alone. Matt Niskanen’s return to the ice also included a seat in the box at 5:44, followed later by captain Alex Ovechkin at 15:16. The Caps were unable to find their flow, and as a result, were out-shot 18-3 and out-scored 0-2 by the end of the first period. Braden Holtby did what he could between the pipes, but the Preds were relentless, and the pressure and speed down the ice took its toll on him.
Second Period Explosion Quickly Fizzled
The second period started out with a bang with the Caps almost doubling their shots on goal in the first 5 minutes and T.J. Oshie tipping one in with the help of John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Chiasson would follow up with a beautiful slap shot served up courtesy of Brett Connolly and John Carlson. The Predators weren’t out of wind yet, though. They answered the Caps with an unassisted wrist shot from Filip Forsberg and yet another tip-in from Kevin Fiala – with Mattias Ekholm on the assist. Oshie found the net to try and get the Caps back in the game. But, the Predators weren’t going down without a fight and they chalked up two more unanswered goals (Mikki Salomaki and Mattias Ekholm). It was clear that Braden Holtby was frustrated and tired after taking another seven shots and allowing four to get pass him. The ensuing chants from the Predators fans – taunting Holtby – were relentless.
Uneventful Third Period Seals The Caps’ Fate
The third period was uninspiring as Philip Grubauer took the post for Braden Holtby. There were no more goals, no more penalties, and no more taunting from the fans. After what seemed like an eternity, this disappointing game finally came to a quiet end that left us all frustrated. Where were the Capitals game-makers? Tom Wilson didn’t drop any gloves and only drew one penalty, Nicklas Backstrom only had one assist, and Alex Ovechkin was 0-for-8 on the night.
All the team can do now is reassess and rest up for Thursday night’s road game against the Colorado Avalanche and hope that they can get their groove back.