Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals wrapped up their season-long six game homestand and kicked off a long road trip this week. On Saturday, the Caps overcame a 3-1 and 4-2 deficit against the Florida Panthers. They rallied to force the tie but ultimately fell short in overtime 5-4. The Capitals rebounded in the final game of the homestand on Monday night with a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings before kicking off a six-game road trip in Columbus where they were blanked by the Blue Jackets 3-0.

The Panthers struck twice in the first period with goals from Frank Vatrano and Keith Yandle to go up 2-0. The Caps got on the board at 5:02 in the second with Brett Connolly‘s 11th goal of the season.

The Caps’ deficit was back at two when Colton Sceviour made it 3-1. Lars Eller struck with 41 seconds to go in the second for his seventh goal of the year to cut the deficit to one entering the final period down 3-2.

Florida extended their lead to 4-2 with a goal from Derick Brassard seven seconds into the third period. The Caps got one back at 6:12 with Connolly’s second goal of the game.

The Caps tied it at 16:54 with Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s 13th goal of the season.

Some controversy ensued late in the game. With four seconds left Connolly was called for roughing Aleksander Barkov. This gave the Panthers a power play that would carry over into the overtime and they cashed in at 1:31 with a PPG from Mike Hoffman.

Braden Holtby stopped 26 of the 31 shots he faced Saturday night for a .839 save percentage.

Kuznetsov dominated in the Capitals’ final game of the homestand, a 6-4 win over the LA Kings with four points. 2:10 into the game, Michael Amadio was whistled for hooking Christian Djoos. The Caps would strike on the power play with an Alex Ovechkin goal from the lower office for his 38th of the season.

The Kings got one back with a goal from Austin Wagner at 4:50. At 15:17 in the first, Brett Connolly gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead. Connolly does a great job following his shot in front of the net. The goal was his 13th goal of the season and 30th point of the season. It was also the second consecutive game he scored.

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The Kings evened it at 17:22 in the first with a goal from Tyler Toffoli. The score would be 2-2 heading into the first intermission. There were four total goals in the first period and the second wouldn’t be any different. The Kings went in front at 3:42 with a goal from Oscar Fantenberg. The Caps then responded with three unanswered goals. Kuznetsov knotted the score at 6:39 with his 14th goal of the season.

Christian Djoos, who recently recovered from an upper body injury and returned to the lineup on Saturday, scored his first goal of the season.

Jakub Vrana added his 17th goal of the season to put the Caps up 5-3 after two periods.

The Kings got a goal back at 10:25 in the third with a goal from Austin Wagner. The Caps then put it away at 15:13 with Kuznetsov’s second goal of the game, 15th of the season.

The Caps begun a long six game road trip with a 3-0 shutout loss to Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets. In a February game that was both a rematch of last year’s first round playoff series and a potential preview of a rematch this spring, the Blue Jackets lit up their cannons, getting goals from Anthony Duclair, Nick Foligno, and Artemi Panarin. The Blue Jackets have won four in a row and are in third place in the Metropolitan Division behind the Caps with 67 points (32-20-3). If the season ended today these clubs would meet in the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

The Caps road trip continues tonight in San Jose against the Sharks where they’ll be looking to get revenge.

 

 

 

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