The Washington Capitals entered last night’s frigid (23 degrees and snowing) game against the Ottawa Senators riding a five-game losing streak (0-3-2). In those five games, the Capitals only mustered seven goals, three of which were from goal-scoring leader Alex Ovechkin.
The Capitals entered last night without Ovechkin, who sat out with a lower body injury.
And the Capitals were shut out for their sixth straight loss.
To be fair, third-line winger Jason Chimera, who replaced Ovechkin on the Eric Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski line, played well, registering four shots and three hits. After the game, forward Brooks Laich thought it made “no difference” that Ovechkin was not in the lineup.
The Capitals had their chances: 21 chances on 5-on-5 play, according to head coach Adam Oates.
“We have to score some goals. I would say the chances were good chances tonight, and we had a lot of them,” Oates said. “It is a matter of finishing.”
However, the difference with no Ovechkin was on the power play. The Capitals went 0-for-4 on the power play with five shots total.
“We missed Ovi a little bit tonight…more than I thought we would,” Oates said.
“Our [power play] kind of sputtered a little bit,” forward Troy Brouwer said. ”We didn’t get as many chances on that as we would have liked.”
Defense played better. The team has not gambled or cheated to create scoring chances. Goalie Braden Holtby thought the defense was a positive takeaway from the game.
Going forward, the team looks to the mantra, actions speak louder than words.
“We’re tired of talking about it. Well done is better than well said. If you want to talk about it, go show it on the ice,” Laich said. “We have to prove it to our teammates, to ourselves, to the organization.”
The Capitals fall to sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. They play against the New Jersey Devils on Friday.