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Capitals vs. Predators Recap: Caps' Comeback Cut Short by Preds

Pekka Rinne didn't bring his A game and Nashville played without Captain Shea Weber but the Capitals fall at home 4 to 3.

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After a sloppy win over the Devils on Thursday night Barry Trotz's team came out flat against the Predators, giving up three goals in the game's first fifteen minutes. Braden Holtby's performance was cut short there, spelled by Justin Peters after Filip Forsberg's tally. Troy Brouwer did his best to lead a Washington comeback, but the Capitals didn't have enough time to score the tying goal.

Check back for our full recap later, but first, here's Saturday afternoon's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: Washington started the second and third period with goals less than twenty seconds into each frame. One has to wonder about Trotz's intermission speeches, as his team came out firing each time. Unfortunately the deficit proved too large to overcome by the time the game clock struck 60:00.
  • Minus: How many games in a row is too many for the Capitals' Holtby? He was pierced for three goals on Nashville's first thirteen shots which put Washington behind an eight ball they couldn't get out from. We know he's a workhorse, but doesn't some rest down the stretch do the team good?

Nine more notes on the game:

  • The play early was sloppy and the Predators cashed in. Three times. Mattias Ekholm, Mike Fisher, and Forsberg chased Holtby after 14:47 of work. Holtby would end the afternoon with ten saves on 13 shots against.
  • Both Ekholm and Forsberg's goals were ones that the Capitals' #1 needs to make, especially against a loaded Nashville club. The goals came from each faceoff dot, the former a backhand and the latter a forehand to Holtby's glovehand side.
  • Washington earned themselves a two man advantage in the first period thanks to penalties drawn in the offensive zone by Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Despite some good zone and possession time both power plays would be squandered and Nashville quickly came down the ice and scored their first nine seconds later.
  • Brouwer kicked off the Capitals' comeback effort with two goals to open the second period. His first came thanks to a friendly bounce in the slot and his second came while Washington was shorthanded. The two goals less than eight minutes apart had Verizon Center engaged in the game again, but it wouldn't last...
  • Former Washington centerman Mike Ribeiro tipped a Forsberg pass past Peters halfway through the second period to extend Nashville's lead to two again. The deflection from the slot wasn't picked up by Peters until the puck had slipped past his led pad. It would be the only goal allowed by Peters on 12 shots but it proved to be the game winner.
  • Really hard to understand the embellishment penalty given to Alex Ovechkin late in the second period. There is no doubt Roman Josi's stick was between the Captain's legs, and it is what caused Ovechkin to fall to the ice, embellishment added or not. If Josi's offense had been a high-stick rather than a trip you can bet Alex wouldn't have been accussed of embellishment.
  • The Capitals came out of the intermission flying again and this time it was Mike Green putting a shot past Pekka Rinne. After a brief review to determine if the net was secured by its moorings the goal was confirmed and Washington began their push for one more.
  • Washington dominated their guests in the third period, taking ten shots versus Nashville's four, but it wouldn't be enough. The Capitals woke up a bit too late in this one and skated off the ice without any points.
  • The Predators played without Shea Weber who was sitting out because of a lower-body injury. Despite the thin defensive core Washington's comeback effort ended up being all for naught because of Ribeiro's second period goal.
  • The Capitals have a chance to bounce back to form tomorrow afternoon against the New York Rangers, and they'll need to be ready to play at three o'clock. With the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators both within reach of the 7th and 8th Eastern Conference playoff seeds Washington needs to put as many standings points on the board between now and April 11th as possible.

    And now, this...

    Game highlights: