Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils Thursday night at Verizon Center.
How it happened: The Caps owned a 2-1 lead on power-play goals by Mathieu Perreault and Mike Ribeiro but five straight penalties led to New Jersey power plays and the Devils broke through on goals by Andrei Loktionov and Ilya Kovalchuk.
What it means: The Caps lost for the second straight game and remain in the Eastern Conference basement with a 5-10-1 record. From the looks of the standings, they’ll need to play at least seven games over .500 in their final 32 games to make the playoffs.
Ovi watch: Alex Ovechkin did not record a point but had his most dominant game of the season. Ovechkin played with the kind of physical presence that makes him one of the NHL’s most dangerous forwards. He had three powerful bullrushes, two that resulted in penalties, and a breakaway. But he also took a tripping penalty in the third period.
Guilty parties: The Capitals’ parade to the penalty box went like this: Matt Hendricks holding at 2:55; Jay Beagle delay of game [incorrectly served by Tomas Kundratek] at 3:09; Ovechkin tripping at 6:52; John Erskine hooking at 9:59; and Tom Poti interference at 10:51.
Shorthanded: Karl Alzner logged 5:17 in shorthanded time; John Carlson was next at 4:40, followed by Jay Beagle at 4:40; and Nicklas Backstrom at 3:22.
What’s next: The Caps and Devils go at it again at noon on Saturday.