Caps, Kuemper blank Predators for fifth win of season

In their third outing of a four game road trip, the Washington Capitals overcame early injuries to shutout the Nashville Predators 3-0. The Capitals efforts were bolstered by a 34-save performance by goalie Darcy Kuemper and a stellar penalty kill. The Caps were forced to play without both TJ Oshie and John Carlson after they were both injured on separate plays early in the first period.

The Capitals began the game playing at a brisk pace ending up with 16 shots on net for the period. Alex Ovechkin, Anthony Mantha and Marcus Johansson paced the team with three shots each. Neither team would score, but the attack would set the tone for a frenetic and physical contest. Oshie’s injury occurred just before a dangerous scoring chance for Nashville. He was unable to skate to keep up on a backcheck play and would barely make it to the bench. Carlson would end up going awkwardly into the boards several minutes later. Both have been diagnosed with lower body injuries and as of this writing are yet to be evaluated long term.

With the coaching staff forced to use their entire bench, only forward Beck Malenstyn would end the game with less than 10 minutes of ice time. Ironically enough he would open the scoring by putting away a Nic Dowd pass at 12:49 of the second period. The Capitals would end up going shorthanded a total of five times in the game. These would all be killed off successfully by Washington’s increasingly improving penalty kill units.

Aliaksei Protas put the Capitals ahead 2-0 after collecting a rebound from a Connor Sheary shot at 6:44 on the third period. Fatigue slowly began to set in due to the skaters making up for the injuries. But Washington would increase their efforts to limit the Predators’ attack. And where their efforts fell short, Kuemper would repeatedly turn away Nashville’s best chances to earn his first shutout with Washington. Ovechkin would seal the game with an empty net goal at 17:15.

Of note is the fact that the five successful penalty kills now mark 15 consecutive successful attempts by their units going back to their loss against the Ottawa Senators. The only blemish on tonight’s game besides the injuries was the Caps continuing struggles at the faceoff dot. They would only win 38.7 of all draws during the game.

The Capitals will end their road trip Halloween night in Raleigh, North Carolina against the Carolina Hurricanes. Official start time is 7 PM ET.

Please follow and like us:

You may also like...

Follow by Email