Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center:
How it happened: The Capitals played tentatively in the first two periods, falling behind 3-0 on a pair of goals by Jarome Iginla and a power-play tally by Carl Soderberg before Jason Chimera woke up the crowd by scoring with 10 seconds left in the second period. A questionable but undisciplined slashing penalty to Chimera in the third period led to Patrice Bergeron’s goal to make it 4-1. Evgeny Kuznetsov netted his second goal of the season with 50 seconds remaining.
What it means: It was the Caps’ first regulation loss since March 11 in Pittsburgh, snapping a 4-0-2 streak. The Caps [80 points] now must sit and watch the outcomes of tonight’s games involving the Maple Leafs [80 points] and Red Wings [80 points], and Blue Jackets [80 points] and Carolina.
Angry Alex: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin failed to score an even-strength goal for the 14th straight game, despite getting a team-high five shots on goal. He also took a charging penalty on Boston forward Loui Eriksson with 11:40 gone in the third period. “He wasn’t ready, he kind of lay down and I make a hit. Is that a penalty? Two minutes? It changed the game right away. They score a [power-play] goal. I think it was a bad call. There’s nothing we can do right now. It killed our chances.” Adam Oates was just as upset, calling the penalty call “terrible” but adding the Caps needed to kill the penalty and move forward.
Lack of a forecheck: The Caps were outshot 25-21 in the opening two periods. Ovechkin said he doesn’t understand why the Caps played so safe. “We have to put the puck deep and start working,” he said. “We’re in a desperate position. A lot of guys have never been in this position on this team, especially the young guys. But the old guys, like me, Backy, Chimmer, Brouwer, we have to play better. We have to lead by example. Right now it’s time to regroup and bounce back tomorrow.”
Look ahead: The Caps visit the Nashville Predators on Sunday night. Look for Adam Oates to turn to Jaroslav Halak, who is 4-2-2 in eight starts for the Caps.