Capitals continue to struggle beyond regulation, fall 2-1 to Rangers in shootout
Washington lost its seventh straight overtime or shootout contest Monday night, falling 2-1 to the Rangers on a fourth-round shootout tally by Artem Anisimov. The Capitals are 1-9 in their last 10 games that have extended beyond regulation after winning their first five extra-time games this season.
Unlike some of the previous overtimes though, the Capitals held the edge in the 4-on-4 play, recording six of the seven shots in the five minute add-on session.
"We went for the goal," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We didn't get it. We haven't lost the overtime games because of a lack of offense, it's because of poor defense. We talked about how we have to play in the overtime and we talked about it again on the bench and I thought we did a real good job of it. There's no secret, when there's a turnover in overtime you go [up ice]. It's not rocket science. Marcus [Johansson] and [Matt] Hendricks did, I thought, pretty well in the overtime."
The inability to score hounded the Capitals throughout a game in which the Rangers blocked 18 shots and Washington passed up chances to score in search of better plays and ultimately were never able to add to their initial one-goal lead. You can read more about the Capitals' lack of offense Monday night in my game story for the paper.
--A week ago, rookie Johansson erred in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers. That didn't stop Boudreau from putting the young centerman out in the extra session for 1 minute 32 seconds Monday night though.
"That's the only way young guys learn," Boudreau said. "You show them what they did wrong and you throw them back out there and say: 'Listen we'll give you another chance. Let's see if you learned from it.' And he did; I thought he did good."
After a rather uneven three games last week, Johansson, who was a minus-4 in that span, responded with a steady outing against the Rangers. He had a few nice passes, including a setup of Jay Beagle in the first period and then the primary assist on Hendricks's tally in the second. He took two shots and won 5 of 9 faceoffs.
--Another good night for Braden Holtby, who you'll be able to read more about in the morning. It was his first NHL overtime or shootout appearance and just seventh career start and he has stopped 87 of 90 shots in the past three games. With how much the puck bounced around on that tying goal, that was credited to Marian Gaborik but both teams said the puck went off Karl Alzner's stick, it's hard to blame it on Holtby.
--Alex Ovechkin joked about being "old Alex" after the contest but there were definitely shades of the Washington captain taking control of the game when he powered his way up the ice for his six shots on goal. He didn't record a point but having that jump in his stride is certainly a good sign.
--With the secondary assist on Hendricks's goal, Scott Hannan recorded his first point as a Capital.
--The defeat knocked Washington to 14-2-5 when scoring the game's first goal.
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