Like yesterday, this afternoon the Capitals faced a team that had a slow start to the season but has been playing better as of late - since hiring the great Bruce Boudreau, the Canucks have gone 8-3-1.
Unlike yesterday, however, the opponent wasn’t the passive Islanders but Boudreau’s in-your-face, forechecking, speed and skill team, and the Caps just weren’t able to adjust.
Here’s Sunday afternoon’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: The power play finally connected scoring two goals in one game. It’s been a long time for that. It was against the worst penalty kill team but it’s progress.
Minus: After taking a brief break in their stretch of horrible second periods, the Caps were back to a struggle in the middle frame and it continues to cost them.
#Caps have been dented for a crooked number in the second period in three of last five games, including today. They've been outscored 12-3 in second periods since calendar flipped to '22, and 21-9 in last 11 games.— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) January 16, 2022
A few more notes on the game:
- It was a good back and forth in the first 10 minutes. Both teams got some good look and scoring chances, but both goalies came up with the stops.
- The Capitals got the first power play of the game after a delay of game penalty. Vancouver had the worst penalty kill in the league so if the Caps want to start improving their power play it needed to start now. The Caps had a lot of good looks before Ovechkin finally pierced through Thatcher Demko to take a 1-0 lead. Demko made a lot of good saves but he’d probably want that one back.
- The Canucks turned on the heat to end the period nearly scoring but Aleksei Protas potentially saved it from the goal line. Vancouver drew a penalty shortly after, extending into the second period in which the Canucks scored on a snipe from shooter Elias Pettersson that went pipe and in. It was a little frustrating because Caps had a chance to get it out but missed.
- Shortly after the Canucks put a ton of pressure and eventually Pettersson scored again giving them a 1-2 lead.
- Caps really turned it on after that. Getting high danger chances from Sprong, Kuznetsov, Ovechkin, and a breakaway from Dowd that he fumbled, but none were able to scored.
- Unfortunately, Hathaway took an unnecessary penalty and the Canucks scored on it giving them a 1-3 lead going into the third.
- The Capitals got another power play in the third period and Wilson ripped it home to cut the game to 2-3.
- Hathaway took another bad penalty to give the Vancouver a chance to extend the lead but thankfully the Capitals didn’t let it happen.
- The Canucks ended up scoring into the empty net to take the game 2-4.
Next Up: The Capitals take on the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday 7PM at home.