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The Noon Number: Focus!

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A look at some struggles - to say the least - in the third period

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

28 - Difference in the Capitals’ goal differentials between the second period (+18) and third period (-10) this season. That’s the largest dropoff for any team between the second and third periods; Carolina checks in at second with a differential of 20 (17 in the second to -3 in the third).

Not only that, but it’s also the biggest jump between any two periods for any team in the NHL - the next highest is the Wild, who go from a goal differential of +15 in the first to a -8 in the second (a difference of 23 goals overall).

Of course, some of that is due to the sheer volume of goals the Caps have put up overall; they have the seventh-highest goal total in the first period (33) and the highest total in the second period (50). They’re simply going into that final frame with the lead more often than not - they’re tied with Colorado and Montreal for the most games with a lead after the first period, and lead everyone with leads after 40 minutes with 20.

All that is to say that the Caps have done enough, for the most part, in those first two periods to get where they are in the standings... but as they found out last night, it’s not always going to be enough to get the win.