The Caps blew a two-goal lead for the second game in a row and this time they didn’t even get a point in the standings as consolation. Two nights after surrendering a 4-2 third period advantage to the New Jersey Devils before losing in overtime the Capitals coughed up an early 2-0 edge as the visiting Anaheim Ducks scored one goal in each frame to leave town as 3-2 winners.
Although losing to the Ducks (who now have the most points in the league and have won nine games in a row) is nothing to be ashamed of, it hurts to lose to former Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, who was making his return to DC, especially in this fashion.
The Caps started the game with more energy than you would expect for a team that was playing its third game in four nights. Mikhail Grabovski and Nicklas Backstrom each scored in the first twelve minutes (Backstrom on the power play) and the Caps had several other chances to add to their lead.
But then someone flipped a switch and the ice tilted severely against them. After putting eleven shots on goal in the first frame the Capitals managed only eight shots the rest of the way. You simply cannot consistently win hockey games that way.
The talented Ducks squad surely gets much of the credit but more shots need to get to the net for the Caps, especially given they had three power plays in the last two periods. For what it’s worth the home crowd did have one more chance to celebrate when it appeared Alex Ovechkin had tied the game with about three minutes remaining. The horn sounded and everyone in the stands thought a goal had been scored. But the play was reviewed and the refs ruled the puck hadn’t crossed the goal line.
The Capitals continued a season long trend of being outshot by their opponents and outpossessed of the puck. That sort of trend will come back to bite you in the long run. And this is the second game in a row the Caps have been bitten.