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How a bad line change cost the Caps in overtime loss to Predators

How a bad line change cost the Caps in overtime loss to Predators

For much of the game Thursday, the Capitals looked like the better team than their opponent, the Nashville Predagors. But the Predators were able to force overtime and one mistake ended up giving them the win over the home team.

Evgeny Kuznetsov was on the ice at the start of the overtime period. After about a full minute, he tried to make the quick change, but there was just one problem: Nashville still had the puck.

“The 3-on-3, if the other team possesses the puck, especially if they're standing in the neutral zone, you can't change,” head coach Barry Trotz said after the game. “They're just waiting for you to go to the box and then they're passing it. It's an automatic 2-on-1. … The change ended up creating a 2-on-1. It's the decision to change that created the chance.”

Predators forward Ryan Johansen had the puck in the Caps’ offensive zone, but retreated to the neutral zone when he saw he had no room to work with. He skated near the boards on the side opposite of the benches.

At this point, about one minute had elapsed in overtime. Kuznetsov had been on the ice the entire time.

RELATED: Caps fall to Preds in OT, lose fifth of last six

An average NHL shift is about 45 seconds long. One minute of ice time in 3-on-3 with more space to work with will tire you out pretty quick. With Johansen in the neutral zone away from the benches, Kuznetsov made a break for it to try to make a quick change leaving the left side of the ice wide open.

“When you have the puck, especially 3-on-3, it's all about possession and decisions,” Trotz said. “When you don't have it, you have to be positionally sound and you have to be patient and you can't make poor decisions.”

With Ovechkin skating in pursuit of Johansen and Kuznetsov on his way to the bench, that left two Nashville players wide open with nothing but John Carlson between them and the net. Johansen made the pass to Viktor Arvidsson who skated in behind Ovechkin and the break was on. Kuznetsov immediately turned around before he reached the bench and skated in pursuit, but by then it was too late. You can see the full play in the video above.

Braden Holtby said after the game that he and Carlson “got a little crossed up” leading to Carlson leaning a bit too far towards P.K. Subban who was on the rush and leaving Arvidsson too much room to shoot. Arvidsson took advantage.

But when caught on a 2-on-1, there’s only so much the goalie and defenseman can do. The play that triggered the situation was a poor decision by Kuznetsov who tried to make a break for the bench when the Predators still possessed the puck.

Said Trotz, “We made an in-between decision, they capitalize on it and we're sitting here with one less point than we feel that we could have.”

MORE CAPITALS: Check out the latest edition of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast

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Game 75: Capitals at Wild date, time, how to watch, game thread

Game 75: Capitals at Wild date, time, how to watch, game thread

The Capitals head out on a season-long five-game road trip looking their best. But how will they handle the road? Things do not go well on their last extended road trip as they were handed three regulation losses in California. Washington hopes to handle this road swing a bit better. While the Caps look like they have recovered from a four-game losing streak, their first game will be a tough one as they face their former coach Bruce Boudreau and a Minnesota Wild team in desperate need of a win.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild

Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.

When: 8:00 p.m. ET. (Capitals GameTime gets things started at 7:30 p.m. ET)

How to Watch: Capitals at Wild will be broadcast on CSN. (Channel Finder)

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


The Capitals (49-17-8) take on the Wild (44-24-7) Tuesday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center.


The Capitals-Wild game will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic. Capitals GameTime gets things started at 7:30 p.m. ET with Capitals Extra recapping the all the action following the game. (CSN channel Finder)


The Capitals-Wild game, as well as the pre and postgame shows, is available to stream live here through CSN's live stream page and is available to authenticated CSN Mid-Atlantic subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Here are the projected lines based on Monday's practice:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson


Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Kevin Shattenkirk

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Paul Carey, Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney


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 and join in on the conversation here with Capitals Pulse.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast - Is Washington back on track?


Capitals Faceoff Podcast - Is Washington back on track?

In Episode 8 of Tarik El-Bashir and JJ Regan's Capitals Faceoff Podcast, the duo discusses whether the team is fully back as hockey's best group after recovering from a four-game funk.

Also featured: TJ Oshie's future in D.C., plus analysis of the NHL's very flawed playoff format.

Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on itunes and audioBoom and give us a good review! Maybe we'll even read it on the air. For the latest Caps coverage be sure to follow @CSNCapitals@TarikCSN and @JJReganCSN on Twitter.