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Capitals vs. Predators Recap: Caps skid into the New Year in 6-3 loss

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The Capitals squander a two goal lead in loss to Predators

NHL: Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

It’s only fitting that the Capitals ended 2018 in much of the same way as the rest of the world: hopeful and optimistic, only to face crushing defeat.

The Capitals opened the Monday afternoon matinee with good pressure, but ultimately forgot the number one rule of any New Year’s Eve plans: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Nashville ended its five-game losing streak after the Capitals allowed five unanswered goals over the second and third periods.

Here’s Monday afternoon’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Michal Kempny hits a career-high four goals with his opening period tally. And looked very handsome doing it.

Minus: The Capitals allowed Nashville’s fourth line to score twice, including the second period go-ahead goal by Frederick Gaudreau.

And now, this...

  1. Brooks Orpik returns to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 27 after a procedure on his right knee. Welcome back, Brooks! Matt Niskanen remains day-to-day with injury.
  2. Momentum? I hardly know ‘em! The Capitals almost immediately take a high sticking penalty after the first period goal by Michal Kempny. My New Year’s Resolution for TJ Oshie: don’t do that.
  3. John Carlson makes a great pass from the slot to set up Jakub Vrana’s 12th goal of the season.
  4. Rocco Grimaldi immediately follows up with a goal just 23 seconds after Vrana’s goal. In other news, I just found out Rocco Grimaldi and Zac Rinaldo are still in the NHL.
  5. Goalie assist! Braden Holtby takes advantage of a line change by Nashville and dishes the puck to Devante Smith-Pelly to set up Chandler Stephenson’s goal.

And now this...

6. Nashville scores three unanswered goals in the second to take their first lead of the game. Rocco Grimaldi has a two point game, allegedly. Now, I may have almost failed Data Analytics but I think allowing two fourth line goals is bad.

7. Don’t look now, but Alex Ovechkin has gone five games without a goal. Did you know Ovi has never scored against Pekka Rinne? Honestly, kind of selfish of Rinne if you ask me!

8. The Capitals get their first power play chance in six periods early in the third, but could not convert. At least we got a chance to say how bad it looked!

9. Bad news: the Preds scored again. Good(ish) news: at least it was not a fourth liner?

10. Do you know a great way to stage a comeback? Give the opposing team a two-man advantage! Oh, did I say great way? I meant awful way. 0/5 stars, would not recommend.

Well, that was decidedly unfun. Hate to end 2018 on a bad note but remember: Alex Ovechkin is a Stanley Cup champion. Have a safe and happy New Year!

Game highlights: