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Recap: Caps Controlled by 'Canes, Lose 3-0

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Sometimes a team will win a game that they have no business winning. Not so for the Caps against the Hurricanes. Oh, they had no business winning this game...and they didn't.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

[GameCenter - Ice Tracker - Game Summary - Event Summary - Shot Report - Faceoff Summary - Play-by-Play - Home TOI - Visitor TOI - Advanced Stats at: war-on-ice, hockeystats, Natural Stat Trick and more via Nice Time On Ice]

This was an "in and out" game.  The Caps were never "in" it because they could not get "out" of their own zone with any consistency.  Not that the low-scoring Carolina Hurricanes were especially sharp, especially in finishing chances.  However, they bottled up the Caps so effectively in their own end that goals from Brett Bellemore, Jeff Skinner and an empty netter by Nathan Gerbe were enough from the Carolina offense to get the job done.

  • Plus: Braden Holtby.  If your goalie saves almost 95 percent of the shots he faces (94.6 percent, actually), you should win.  Holtby deserved better than what he got in this game.
  • Minus: Pretty much everyone not named "Holtby."  What looked like a bad ice surface played with the Caps' passing game, but they did not do much to fight through that and looked more disorganized in their own end than they have at any point this season.

Ten more notes on the game:

  • Until Carolina took a penalty 18:20 into the first period the Caps had a total of seven shot attempts - two shots on goal, two shots blocked, and three misses.  Carolina had 19 attempts (9/6/4).
  • Through two periods, seven Caps skaters had not attempted a shot (Eric Fehr, Karl Alzner, Jack Hillen, Joel Ward, Tom Wilson, Brooks Orpik, Evgeny Kuznetsov).
  • Speaking of Wilson, in a space of 11:34 of ice time covering the Pittsburgh loss on Wednesday and the first two periods in this game, he committed four minor penalties, had a fighting major, and had one shot attempt.  This might not be the developmental path folks had in mind for a first round draft pick.
  • This was the third consecutive loss in regulation for the Caps and their third consecutive loss to a Metropolitan Division foe.  It was the first time they lost three straight games in regulation since late November/early December and the first time they lost three straight games in the division since last March/April when they lost back-to-back decisions against Pittsburgh, then dropped a decision to the New Jersey Devils more than three weeks later.
  • The empty net goal allowed was just the third this season for the Capitals, who had been tied for fewest empty net goals against with St. Louis coming into this game.
  • That empty net goal gave the Caps their first loss by three or more goals since they dropped a 6-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs (the Caps' next opponent) last November 29th.  It was a 33-game streak broken with the loss.
  • The third line of Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich, and Joel Ward had a total of three shots on goal (all by Laich) and four shot attempts (Fehr added a missed shot).
  • The 38 shots on goal allowed was the most by Washington in a road game since November 7th when they allowed 40 shots in Chicago to the Blackhawks in a 3-2 win.
  • Odd fact... Andre Burakovsky recorded the Caps' first shot on goal 2:20 into the game.  It would be the Caps' only shot on goal over the first 16:40 of the game.  It would be Burakovsky's only shot on goal for the game.
  • That Jason Chimera had three shots on goal and led all forwards in shot attempts (seven) should not be too much of a surprise.  He had five shots on goal on the same rink back on December 4th, his high for the season.

And now, this...