The Washington Capitals put forth an unremarkable effort in their road loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Dmitri Kulikov scored the 35th goal of his 11-year career in the first period, a slapshot from the point that Ilya Samsonov couldn’t see. After a scoreless second period, Kyle Connor snapped a shot from the slot to make it 2-0 in the third. Sheifele got an empty-netter, and then it was over.
Caps lose. Shutout.
me trying to write a substantial recap about a 1-0 game https://t.co/1WmtuEFcpE
— Peter Hassett 🌮 (@peterhassett) February 28, 2020
- This is the second time the Caps have been shut out this season. The first was December 16 by Columbus. Connor Hellebuyck, the winning goalie, seems to have a pretty good case to win the Vezina.
- Jets forward Patrik Laine played just 23 seconds. That’s when his foot absorbed a slapshot from Michal Kempny and had to leave the game.
INJURY UPDATE: #NHLJets F – Patrik Laine will not return to tonight’s game due to a lower body injury.
— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) February 28, 2020
- The Caps had to kill almost two solid minutes of five-on-three play when Gudas and Dillon committed back-to-back penalties. The PK unit was great, but that was pretty much the high point of the game.
- The Caps got their own chance at special teams when Ovechkin and Kovalchuk drew penalties two minutes and three seconds apart, but both PPs sputtered. In the second try, Alex Ovechkin shifted to the Carlson spot. There he had more time and space — but much less quality than he did from the Ovi Spot. I didn’t love it.
- The Caps got badly stuck in their own zone in the second period, unable to clear the puck as the Jets buzzed the net. Ilya Samsonov bailed the Caps out there, but it seems the team’s dysfunction in transition isn’t fully solved just yet.
- Here’s an excellent save by Sammy in the third — by which point the Caps were already in a two-goal hole.
spectacular save by Sammy pic.twitter.com/zB2Vu5C0KB
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) February 28, 2020
- Nicklas Backstrom hasn’t played his best hockey lately. Until the third period, his second line got fairly well dominated on Thursday — except when Jakub Vrana got a couple breakaway chances.
- Meanwhile, the Panik version of the fourth line looks just as potent as the Leipsic version did a couple months ago. That’s good, right?
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) February 28, 2020
The Caps have a couple days off until they play another road game against the post-Boudreau Minnesota Wild. I hope they can get a little more going then. In the meantime…