Capitals Fade After Strong Start Against Senators

The Washington Capitals suffered their third loss of the young 2023 NHL season against a hungry Ottawa Senators team. The team had questions to answer with the recent losses of both Evgeny Kuznetsov and Connor Brown due to suspension and injury respectively.

The first period began well enough with Washington benefitting from overlapping power plays that resulted in a 72 second 5-on-3 man advantage. T. J Oshie opened the scoring with a snap shot goal from point blank range. Anthony Mantha added to the lead 34 seconds later while the Caps still held the man advantage. The goal is Mantha’s team leading third of the season.

The second period, and the rest of the game for that matter belonged to the Senators. Ottawa was granted a pair of back to back power play chances of their own in an increasingly physical second period. The on-ice officials would call ten infractions in the second period alone. Drake Batherson would net both tallies on the early period power plays to tie the game for the Senators.

From there the Capitals offensive game struggled mightily as their shot total would only reach 24 for the game, slowing to 5 for the second period and 7 for the final stanza. Ottawa’s output by contrast would ramp up in the final two periods as they would go on to fire 44 shots at goalie Darcy Kuemper who was forced to constantly turn back high danger chances.

Shane Pinto would score the eventual game winner for the host Senators putting away a wrister while alone in the high slot area at 5:53 of the final period. The Caps would find themselves constantly lacking in offense often incapable of sustaining possession or gaining the offensive zone. The Senators would put away two empty net goals to seal the game in the last minutes.

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