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Capitals vs Ducks Recap: Caps Lay an Egg in 5-2 Loss to Anaheim

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Alex Ovechkin puts his name in the record books, but sloppy play and faceoff blues plague the Capitals.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Anaheim Ducks Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Not much good to say about this one, folks.

Coming off an all-around performance in San Jose, the Capitals entered tonight well-positioned to leave with two points against the Ducks. Instead, they were plagued by subpar faceoff performances across the board and questionable coverage (or lack thereof) by the defense in a 5-2 loss to the second-worst team in the Pacific. Ouch.

Here’s Sunday’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Alex Ovechkin continues puts himself in the history books as the fourth player to register ten or more 40-goal seasons. His companions? Wayne Gretzky (12), Marcel Dionne (10) and Mario Lemieux (10).

Minus: TJ Oshie left the game midway through the second period with an upper body injury. Certainly it is a big loss for the Capitals and Oshie, who has been on a good run as of late. Fingers crossed that it’s nothing too serious.

And now this...

Here’s ten more notes on tonight’s game:

  • The Ducks wore jerseys with the number 27 to honor Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer and, coincidentally, the number of regulation losses they had entering tonight’s dance.
  • Alex Ovechkin hits the 40 goal mark for the 10th time in his career on a one-timer from the circle. The only NHL player to register more 40 goal seasons in his career is Wayne Gretzky (12). I think that guy was pretty good at hockey.
  • Noted nice guy Corey Perry is whistled for holding with just under eight minutes to go in the period to give the Caps their second power play opportunity of the night. In case you were wondering, here are my rankings of notable ducks in order of most to least likeable:

1. Paul Kariya 2. Daffy Duck 3. Donald Duck 4. Scrooge McDuck 5. Daisy Duck 6-8. Hewey, Dewey and Lewey Duck (yes, I do know Donald Duck’s entire extended family) 9. the frankly terrifying Aflac duck voice 10-99. The ducks I’ve seen swimming in the Potomac 100. Corey Perry

  • Caps get out of the first period with a 1-0 lead, though the Ducks outshot them 16-8. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Ovi and Nicklas Backstrom both have breakaways at the start of the second, but neither could convert. Spoiler alert: this will come back to bite us later in the period.
  • Adam Henrique deflects a Brandon Montour shot and just like that the Ducks knot it at 1. Later, the Caps defense leaves Braden Holtby hanging and Jakob Silfverberg puts the Ducks up 2-1. Take notes, kids. This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing on defense.
  • John Carlson ties up the game with his ninth goal of the season and second point of the night. He now sits just one assist away from 300 career assists and one goal shy of his fourth 10-goal season.
  • The Ducks take their second lead of the night just 37 seconds into the third period, making it a three-point night for goal scorer Adam Henrique. Minutes later, Corey Perry scores on the power play and it’s 4-2 Ducks. At this point, it is 11:30 pm in D.C., and it is starting to feel like one those nights in undergrad where I was writing a last-minute philosophy paper, knowing that it’s a Sisyphean effort to come out of the night with a positive result.
  • Bold strategy, but have the Caps considered not taking penalties? Call me boring, but I think that it might be a nice change.
  • Silfverberg scores again to put the Ducks up 5-2 with five to go in the game. For those counting at home, the Ducks had five goals total in the last six games they played before facing off against the Caps. I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.

Not a pretty one tonight, y’all. Time to reset and get one back in LA tomorrow night.

And, finally...