After consecutive overtime losses Washington traveled to Nashville to take on the Predators in Nicklas Backstrom’s 900th career contest. On a milestone night for the Capitals a four goal third period from Nashville propelled the Predators to a 6 to 5 victory.
Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Led by their Captain Washington’s power play came to life, scoring twice in three opportunities.
Minus: An absolute heartbreak from forty minutes on. In a small but competitive sample size this third period collapse ranks as the worst of the season.
And now this...
Twelve more notes on the game.
- Washington was under siege by the home team through the first five minutes, yielding the game’s first five shots. Braden Holtby had to be good early to keep the Predators off the scoreboard.
- Before the ten minute mark John Carlson and Garnet Hathaway paired up with passes that allowed Lars Eller to deposit his first of the season. The puck’s movement drew Pekka Rinne out of his crease and Eller made no mistake for his first of the season.
- Filip Forsberg knotted the game less than two minutes later by beating Holtby up high. On a breakaway chance the former Capitals forward put the puck up and over Holtby’s glove to bring Bridgestone Arena to life.
- Early in the second period Alex Ovechkin revitalized Washington’s power play with a classic one time touch served to him by Carlson. Ovechkin’s shot screamed past Rinne before embedding itself into the goal.
- But once again Nashville responded, this time with Ryan Johansen finishing off a two against one (with Viktor Arvidsson) for the Predators’ second.
- A little more than halfway through the second Tom Wilson tallied a shorthanded goal for the Capitals with a beautiful finish. Wilson and Chandler Stephenson exchanged the puck in neutral ice before Wilson ripped a shot past Rinne’s unsuspecting glove for the lead (Washington’s third of the night).
- Before the second period could come to its conclusion Ovechkin slammed home his second power play goal of the night from him office. A second perfect primary assist from Carlson empowered Ovechkin to put his all behind his shot, and he did.
- Five minutes into the final frame Johansen poked the puck under Holtby to draw Nashville within one.
- Seventy seconds later Matt Duchene netted his first of the season to tie the game at four. A skillful play from Forsberg in the slot gave Holtby pause and allowed Duchene the space he needed.
- With nine minutes to play T.J. Oshie put the Capitals ahead again. Four minutes later Nick Bonino tied the contest for the fourth time at five.
- And less than a minute later the Nashville’s comeback was completed by Mattias Ekholm. Ekholm’s slap shot from sixty feet avoided everyone in its way before hitting twine behind Holtby.
- (Unbelievably) Ovechkin’s two goals tonight are the first two his career against Rinne, a 14 year NHL veteran.