With 48 games in 99 days, there’s not a lot of time to digest what happened in any single contest. So as we churn through this compressed Capitals season, I’ll be rounding up my thoughts and analysis of each game here. If you missed them last night, check out the game story from the Capitals’ 2-1 loss to the Rangers and more on how the penalties that piled up cost them.
>> In the final two periods against New York Sunday night, the Capitals weren’t without opportunities to help their cause on the scoreboard. After Carl Hagelin’s goal made it 1-1 with 7:39 gone in the second period and then Derek Stepan’s gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead less than five minutes into the third, Washington was able to generate offense it just wasn’t able to cash in.
Arguably the two best scoring chances came within three minutes of each other in the second period by winger Wojtek Wolski. Immediately after a power play in the middle stanza, Mathieu Perreault found Wolski driving to the net in the slot but Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist turned the shot away with his blocker.
With 5:22 remaining in the second, Nicklas Backstrom sent a pass over on a two-on-one but he missed the net wide. Wolski had already missed the target once that period.
“Just kind of a little behind me, and I thought I could go across the net because I assumed that he would probably push pretty hard to come towards my side,” said Wolski, whose last goal came seven games ago against Philadelphia on Feb 1. “I just missed the net twice and there was two great opportunities that should be goals.”
The Capitals had three power plays after Hagelin’s goal, moved the puck with imposing precision and recorded six shots against Lundqvist during those six minutes but never solved him. Lundqvist turned away blasts from the left circle by Alex Ovechkin, who also missed the target twice on the power play.
“We had a couple of one-timers that we should’ve hit the net. It’s tough,” said Backstrom, who said he thought Washington created the chances it wanted to on the power play.