A “Zebra” in the East: Capitals Fall to the Red Wings and Then Rangers

After the bye week for the Capitals, things weren’t as the expected for return. The  Red Wings who ranked last in the Eastern Conference and 27th overall opened a 2-0 advantage, saw the Caps raise in the game and tied in in the third. However, The Rangers managed to win in the shootouts and accomplish the “zebra” in the east, a Brazilian expression used when the leader loses to the last placed team. In this case, the league leader losing to the last team in the conference.

The Caps began strong and fast, with Ovechkin and Backstrom having some good chances at the first minute of the game. But in the first half of the first period, the Red Wings converted a power play and took the early lead. The Capitals, by other side, didn’t capitalize any. The Red Wings extended their lead to  2-0 in the second, but the Caps could prepare the ground with Sanford’s second NHL career goal, making it 2-1 before the third. With less than five minutes in the third, Winnik tied the game and the tie would be extended to the shootouts. The Caps had their opportunity to win, but wasted some chances, including with T.J. Oshie, but the six-game win streak came to an end.

One of the reasons we can appoint is the special units. The Caps suffered a PPG and couldn’t capitalize any of their own. Some people say about the “rust”, since the team just came back from the bye week. Burakovsky suffered a hand  injury against the same Detroit Red Wings last week, when the Caps have won by 6-3 at Verizon Center and his presence could make some difference today.

The good side is the Caps demonstrated strength and that they’re able top manage and search results in the adversity, but still improve about decisive moments, like winning in OT/SO. By the way, they’re still unbeaten in 12 games at home. This team can be mortal if they rise in the right moment.

The next opponent was our a rivals, the New York Rangers in the Big Apple the following day. The Caps had some struggles here too. Lundqvist had 31 saves while Grubauer had 28. The final score was 2-1 Rangers. Let’s hope by the time they meet the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday at 8 pm. 

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