Washington loses 4th straight as Bruins blitz Caps originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Capitals took a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Boston Bruins took control after that on Monday was Washington fell 7-3.
Here are some observations from the game.
A tough night for the goalies
All eyes were on Zach Fucale for this game as he earned the start after stellar performances Friday in relief against the St. Louis Blues and Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. His first start at home, however, did not go so well.
Fucale gave up four goals on 16 shots before he was pulled in the second period. Vitek Vanecek came on in relief and he did not fare much better. He gave up the first shot he faced and two in the second period on just five shots. He finished with 12 saves on 15 shots.
Fucale entered this game with a .980 save percentage and 0.42 in his three appearances this year. As the Caps have lacked consistency at goaltending this season, it was worth giving him an extended look to see if he had the potential to shake up the team's goalie situation. Unfortunately, however, it appears Fucale is not the answer to the team's problems between the pipes.
Not all on the goalies
While his stat line won't look all that good from Monday's game, the loss was hardly all on Fucale. Washington could not stay out of the box in the first period and Boston's two goals in the opening frame came on both penalties of a two-man advantage. In the second period, Matt Grzelcyk scored the third goal on a wrister from the high slot that Fucale absolutely has to save, but preceding the play were two defensive zone turnovers and a neutral zone turnover for Washington as the Caps were sloppy with the puck and could not move it up the ice.
The defense lost Craig Smith on the backdoor for goal No. 4 which ended Fucale's night.
The first goal Vanecek gave came on a 2-on-1 as Tom Wilson turned the puck over in the offensive zone and the team got caught up high. Erik Haula and Brad Marchand delivered the exclamation points as each scored on quick attacks off of neutral zone turnovers.
The Caps' puck management and defense were not up to snuff at all as the team continued to give up the puck and the goalies were not able to bail the team out.
A bad trend
Washington has now lost four straight for the first time this season going 0-2-2, giving up 18 goals in those four games.
A good start
This game always looked like it was going to be lop-sided, just from the other direction. Conor Sheary scored twice in the first period to give Washington the 2-0 lead just 12;32 into the game. A dumped puck bounced off the backboard back towards the crease. Defenseman Brandon Carlo was there behind the goal line and reached his stick for the puck, but appeared to pull it back expecting goalie Linus Ullmark to cover. The two got their signals crossed, however, as Ullmark looked like he was trying to bump the puck back to Carlo with the blocker. Instead, he knocked the puck out front to Sheary in front of the net and he buried it with the backhander.
Matt Grzelcyk then handed Sheary another gem as he tried to backhand the puck away from the forechecking Garnet Hathaway. The puck went through Hathaway to Sheary and he snapped the one-timer into the net.
Sheary now has 10 goals on the season.
The turning point
With Washington up 2-0, Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for holding in the back half of the first period. Nic Dowd then delivered a brutal high-stick to Brad Marchand that left the Bruins forward bloodied and earned Dowd a double-minor. That gave Boston 45 seconds of a 5-on-3. Patric Bergeron ended that chance with an interference penalty, but John Carlson was called later for cross-checking which give Boston another 5-on-3 on the back end of Dowd's double minor.
David Pastrnak scored on the 5-on-3 and Marchand returned, blood on his jersey and all, and scored on the second penalty to make it 2-2.
Those were the first two of six straight goals for Boston.