Quick Links

Capitals fall in OT to Predators, dropping fifth of past six games

Capitals fall in OT to Predators, dropping fifth of past six games

Final score: Washington Capitals 1, Nashville Predators 2

How it happened: Brett Connolly put the Caps up in the first, but a Marcus Johansson turnover turned into a second period goal for the Predators. The Capitals seemed to be getting the better of the play, but found themselves in a 1-1 tie which neither team could break in the third period. It didn't take Nashville long after that as Viktor Arvidsson scored just 1:05 into OT to win it for Nashville.

What it means: Washington has now lost five of their last six games with only three points in that stretch. They now sit only two points ahead of Pittsburgh who was idle on Thursday. Columbus could also shorten the margin to two points with a win (that game still in progress at time of writing).

Goals

Caps goal: Brett Connolly form Jakub at 11:41 in the first period. The third line applied a relentless forecheck until Lars Eller was able to generate a turnover from Kevin Fiala. Vrana pounced on the loose puck for a mini 2-on-0 against Rinne. Vrana fed Connolly who buried the shot. Caps 1, Predators 0

Predators goal: James Neal from Kevin Fiala at 18:56 in the second. Neal intercepted a pass from Johansson in Nashville's defensive zone and broke out on the rush. He passed to Fiala who laid the drop back pass back to Neal who fired the long-range wrister that beat Braden Holtby glove side. Caps 1, Predators 1

Predators goal: Viktor Arvidsson from Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi at 1:05 in overtime. Alex Ovechkin floated a bit too far in pursuit of a retreating Johansen and Evgeny Kuznetsov tried to make a quick line change leaving Arvidsson free for a 2-on-1. Arvidsson buried the shot for the gamewinner. Caps 1, Predators 2

3 stars

1. Viktor Arvidsson: Arvidsson found an opening in overtime and he made it count, burying the game-winner behind Holtby.

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov: Washington's second line looked dangerous all night and that was largely because of the play of Kuznetsov. he skated and dangled his way through Nashville's defense and make it look easy in the process.

3. James Neal: It's rare to see a player beat Holtby clealnly with a long-range shot, but Neal did exactly that in the second period to give the Predators life.

Look ahead: The Caps head south for a Saturday night matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, then return for a three-game home stand that will see Calgary, Columbus and Arizona all come to town.

Tell us what you think: Kevin Shattenkirk made his return from a two-game suspension leaving Nate Schmidt as a healthy scratch. What did you think of Shattenkirk's game? If you were crafting a top six for the defense, what it be?

MORE CAPITALS: Tom Wilson drops gloves to fight Predators' Austin Watson

Quick Links

Capitals 2017-18 Breakout Candidate: Brett Connolly

Capitals 2017-18 Breakout Candidate: Brett Connolly

As we skate toward the start of the 2017-18 NHL Regular Season, our CSN Capitals team of Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir detail and analyze the Capitals roster.

They will take a look at breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, players in need of improvement and a look at the rest of the Metropolitan Division, all leading up to the start of the NHL regular season.

Up first are the Capitals breakout candidates.

First, we previewed Tom Wilson.

Today we are looking at Brett Connolly.

YOU CAN WATCH TARIK AND JILL'S FULL BREAKDOWN OF BRETT CONNOLLY IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.

2017-18 CAPITALS BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: Brett Connolly

Position: Right Wing
Age: 25
NHL Seasons: 6 (276 games)
2016-17 Stats: 15 goals, 8 assists, +20 plus/minus

Tarik El-Bashir's Breakout Preview: 
After playing the last three seasons on one-year deals, Connolly finally has a little security after inking a two-year, $3 million contract with the Caps earlier this month.

It’s a hefty raise over the $850,000 he earned last season, and it’s emblematic of the higher expectations that he’ll shoulder in 2017-18.

Connolly’s first season in Washington was a strange one. It began with him sitting out as a healthy scratch, and it ended with him sitting out as a healthy scratch. But in between, the former first round pick was remarkably efficient, scoring a career-high 15 goals in 66 games, while skating fewer than 11 minutes per.

Next season, Connolly’s role and playing time are expected to increase … and so, too, are his numbers.

Jill Sorenson's Keys to Breakout:
1.  Maturity: "He's finally settling in and understands what it means to be a pro hockey player. He feels like this is a good fit for him. He's ready to handle the increased pressure and increased responsibillity."

2.  Comfort Level: "He feels like Washington is where he wants to be. He has a nose for the net, and with that comfort level now with this team, that natural scoring abillity I expect will come through."

Prediction: Total Points
Tarik: 21 goal, 16 assists
Jill: 20 goals, 18 assists

RELATED: TEN BEST CAPITALS PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME

Quick Links

Capitals 2017-18 Breakout Candidate: Tom Wilson

Capitals 2017-18 Breakout Candidate: Tom Wilson

As we skate toward the start of the 2017-18 NHL Regular Season, our CSN Capitals team of Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir detail and analyze the Capitals roster.

They will take a look at breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, players in need of improvement and a look at the rest of the Metropolitan Division, all leading up to the start of the NHL regular season.

Up first are the Capitals breakout candidates. The first of the three selections is Tom Wilson. 

YOU CAN WATCH TARIK AND JILL'S FULL BREAKDOWN OF TOM WILSON IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.

RELATED: TEN BEST CAPITALS PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME

2017-18 Capitals Breakout Candidate: Tom Wilson

Position: Right Wing
Age: 23
NHL Seasons: 4 (313 games)
2016-17 Stats: 7 goals, 12 assists, 133 penalty minutes

Tarik El-Bashir's Breakout Preview:
After mustering only seven goals in 82 regular season games, Tom Wilson scored three times against his hometown Maple Leafs in the opening round of the playoffs.

Was the offensive outburst a blip, or the start of a trend? The Caps, obviously, hope it’s the latter—and there’s reason to believe it could happen. The 23-year-old former first rounder is entering a contract year but, more important, he’s expected to play a bigger role in 2017-18. Bigger role + better linemates + more ice time = more goal production.

Makes sense, right?

Jill Sorenson's Keys to Breakout:
1.  Health: "This will be only his third season fully healthy. I look at that, from a chronological standpoint as a reason to up his production."
2.  Responsibility: "He would be a good addition on the power play in front of the net. he has that net-front pressence and they like when he plays on a line with Alex Ovechkin."

Prediction: Over/Under 18 Goals
Tarik: 18. Push.
Jill: 21. Over.