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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

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Alex Ovechkin makes kids' day with street hockey surprise

Alex Ovechkin makes kids' day with street hockey surprise

Kids part of the American Special Hockey Association had no idea they were going to meet one of the NHL's biggest stars during a game of street hockey on Friday afternoon.

But that's what happened when Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin surprised a handful of youngsters playing in a tournament in front of Capital One Arena.

Ovechkin wasn't just there for pictures and autographs, he also joined in on the action for the next hour and did not hold back in one of his last major games before before the regular season.

MORE: ANOTHER TOP-SIX AUDITION FOR VRANA

ASHA and Ovechkin have been hosting events together for four consecutive seasons. The organization was created in 2000 and enables players of all ages who have developmental disabilities to enjoy the sport of hockey.

You can watch the full video of Ovechkin's surprise above.

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Jakub Vrana gets another top-six audition in the Caps' home preseason opener

Jakub Vrana gets another top-six audition in the Caps' home preseason opener

Here’s how Coach Barry Trotz will have his players line up Friday night vs. the Blues...and a few notes about forward combos and D pairings you'll see at Capital One Arena:

Forwards
Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie
Burakovsky – Boyd – Smith-Pelly
Stephenson – Eller – Wilson
Bau – Graovac – Peluso

Defense
Johansen – Carlson
Djoos – Chorney
Ness – Lewington

Goalies
Holtby
Copley

RELATED: HOW TO WATCH CAPS-BLUES

  • After scoring a power play goal while skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on Wednesday, Jakub Vrana is getting an audition on the other top-six line.
  • Stephenson is the only player to appear in all three preseason games. Tonight, he’s skating on the wing after playing center in the first two contests. He’s a prospect the Caps are hoping makes the opening night roster but the reason he’s played so much is because fourth-line center Jay Beagle is “trying to manage his body a little bit,” according to Trotz.
  • Beagle has not played yet this preseason, but Trotz said he’s been practicing and scrimmaging full-go. “He’s not hurt,” Trotz said. “He’s got some tightness. We’re going to work through the tightness and he’ll be fine. There’s no reason to rush guys.”
  • Winger Mathias Bau wasn’t originally slated to see any game action, but the Denmark native impressed Trotz so much in a scrimmage earlier this week that the coach found a spot in the lineup for him. Bau, the tallest player in camp at 6-7, is skating on a line with Graovac (6-5) and Peluso (6-3).  “He’s gotten better and better,” Trotz said of Bau, who signed an AHL deal with Hershey this summer. “So he deserves to get in a game. He’s been standing out. Originally I had another guy in there but Bau has sorta overtaken him.”
  • Peluso is another player who is emerging as a candidate to earn a spot on the fourth line. This will mark his second straight preseason appearance. 
  • Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov will make their preseason debut Saturday vs. the Hurricanes, according to Trotz, who has already said they’ll open the regular season as the top pair.

 

MORE CAPITALS: CAPS MAKE THEIR FIRST CUTS