Banged up Capitals get burned by Flames, 2-5
Continuing their long western road trip, the Capitals faced off against the Calgary Flames and came up well short in another uneven effort. They endured two injuries, adding to their already long list of missing personnel. Goalie Darcy Kuemper and defenseman Martin Fehervary both left the game in the second period due to injury and, per official team sources are to be reevaluated on Sunday. As has been another unfortunate habit, they failed to generate any consistent effort in scoring, which sealed their fate for the game.
The scoring began with Blake Coleman’s wrister from the right circle at 18:03 in the first period. The Capitals got a power play and answered less than 90 seconds later. Conor Sheary put in a wrister of his own also from the right faceoff circle after taking a pass from Sonny Milano. Sheary’s goal was scored at 19:26 of the period. Although the score had been tied, it was the beginning of the end of any offensive output for the Capitals.
Several minutes into the second period, Martin Fehervary took a hit along the boards from Flames forward Milan Lucic. He came away holding his lower left arm in great discomfort and immediately went to the dressing room. Postgame reports from both Sammi Silber and Tarik El Bashir both mentioned his being seen with his arm being held in a sling after the game.
Several minutes later, Darcy Kuemper took himself out of the game. Replays from the NBC Sports Washington broadcast showed separate altercations with Flames forwards Nazem Kadri and Tyler Toffoli where hard contact was made. In both instances, no penalty was called and Kuemper did not appear to be in any immediate distress. Still, he would go back to the dressing room and did not return after a brief evaluation at the bench. Charlie Lindgren finished the game in his place.
The Capitals would continue their offensive futility and eventually fall apart in the final period. Adam Ruzicka and Mangiapane would score 55 seconds apart in the 14th minute of the period. John Carlson would provide an answer at 18:54, but the game was permanently put out of reach with an empty net goal by Elias Lindholm with seconds remaining. For the majority of the game, the Capitals relied far too much on long distance shots with no rebounds and barely any net-front presence. It is also worth noting that Sheary’s and Carlson’s goals were scored from almost identical locations–both within 20 feet in front of the net.
NOTES—Lindgren would go on to be the goalie of record and took the loss after Carlson’s goal. Matt Irwin was made a healthy scratch and Alexander Alexeyev was put in his place. The Russian made his second appearance of the season and got exactly 17 minutes of ice time. Sheary’s goal is his 9th of the year and puts him behind only Alex Ovechkin for the team lead. The Capitals’ next game is Monday night against the Edmonton Oilers, start time is scheduled for 8:30 PM ET.
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