Washington Capitals

Quick Links

Caps struggle to diagnose the problem with the penalty kill

Caps struggle to diagnose the problem with the penalty kill

With a 14-2-1 record in their last 17 games, everything has been going right for the Capitals lately.

Well, almost everything.

A Washington team that boasts the best defense in the NHL is suddenly struggling on the penalty kill. Coming into Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins, the Caps had allowed one power play goal in each of their last five games. On Wednesday, the penalty kill was victimized again and it nearly cost them the game.

Washington jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period against the Bruins and looked well on their way to another big win. Just when it looked like the Caps were going to finish them off, however, Washington gave Boston some life with a penalty late in the first period and early in the second.

Brad Marchand scored on each to tie the game at 2. Washington managed only one successful kill on the night in the three power plays the team faced.

RELATED: Trotz provides an update on Justin Williams

Why has the penalty kill been a problem of late? No one can really put their finger on it.

“I don't know,” Matt Niskanen said. “It's been all different types of goals. It's not like there's one thing that's biting us. Record's been decent in spite of that, but definitely our penalty kill's going to have to do better in the future.”

“It's just some mistakes I think maybe that we don't usually make,” T.J. Oshie said. “I think our penalty kill, our four front guys and the guys in the back end do a really good job. Tonight, they just beat us on a couple plays. Something we'll clean up. Some of those things we usually don't let them get to those points.”

The problem is when there’s not one thing wrong, it makes it that much harder to fix.

Head coach Barry Trotz agreed with his players’ assessment after the game, saying the two power play goals the team allowed to Boston came on two very different plays.

“The first one we did a really good job and then we made a real bad change,” Trotz said. “We didn’t get the puck down the ice, it was sort of a real short regroup on their part and we made a bad change. ... The second one, they had a lot of zone time, hit us with a couple seems and we weren't able to get a handle on it.”

One issue could be Jay Beagle’s roll of late.

Beagle played on the second line Wednesday in place of Justin Williams who was a late scratch. He played on the top line in place of T.J. Oshie in New Jersey last week prior to the All-Star break.

Beagle, who Trotz called his “Mr. Fix It” is also one of the team’s top penalty killers. Playing him in the top six means more minutes at even strength would ultimately means fewer minutes on the penalty kill. Trotz also told reporters that he does not think Beagle has fully recovered from the flu which forced him to miss last week’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

Could the penalty kill struggles just be boiled down to Beagle not being 100 percent? If that’s the case, the team better hope he doesn’t dog it in the postseason.

MORE CAPITALS: Oshie accuses Trotz of embellishment after near collision after warmups

Quick Links

Preseason Game 2: Capitals at Canadiens, date, time, TV channel, live stream, game thread

usatsi_9857640.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Preseason Game 2: Capitals at Canadiens, date, time, TV channel, live stream, game thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals at Canadiens will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (CSN channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals at Canadiens game on CSN's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-CANADIENS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m. ET

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-CANADIENS GAME ON?

The Capitals at Canadiens game will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic at 7:00 p.m. ET with Capitals Extra recapping all the action following the game. (CSN channel Finder)

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-CANADIENS GAME?

The Capitals at Canadiens game is available to stream live through CSN's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS AT CANADIENS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone.

Quick Links

Capitals release 2017-18 promotional calendar

Capitals release 2017-18 promotional calendar

The Capitals Tuesday night released their 2017-18 promotional schedule. This season’s promotions include several giveaways and theme nights.

The giveaways include a schedule magnet on opening night (Oct. 7 vs. Canadiens), a Zamboni gravy boat (Nov. 22 vs. Senators), a puck bottle opener (March 16 vs. Islanders) and a T.J. Oshie bobblehead (March 20 vs. Stars.)

RELATED: Ovechkin, Kuznetsov set to start the season on a line together

Among the theme nights are Military Appreciation Night (Feb. 20 vs. Lightning) and Hockey is for Everyone Night (Feb. 24 vs. Sabres.)

The calendar also includes a few games with a focus on community involvement. There will be a canned food drive before Thanksgiving (Nov. 18 vs. Wild) and a #CapsCare toy drive prior to Christmas (Dec. 8 vs. Rangers.)

Here is the full release with a link to the entire promotional calendar.

More Capitals: There's a spot on the Caps' blue line waiting for Madison Bowey. Will he seize it?