Despite getting off to a quick start, the Carolina Hurricanes fell 6-1 to the Washington Capitals on Monday night in the nation’s capital. The Canes have now dropped four straight to the top three teams in the NHL. They now turn their attention to rebound Thursday night in Los Angeles.
The night started on a positive note when Jordan Staal scored a power-play goal just under five minutes into the game. Staal scored off of a great set up from Aho and Lindholm to make the game 1-0. After struggling on the power play, the Canes now have power play goals in back-to-back games.
Despite going up early, the Canes surrendered three straight goals, the first coming on a Capitals power play after Justin Faulk took a lazy holding penalty. Dmitry Orlov was able to put one in from the point off of Staal’s stick, which caused a redirection past Ward. Justin Williams later grabbed the lead with a shot that squeaked through a screen at the top of the crease.
The Canes started the second period on the power play. Though they did not score on the man advantage, the Canes were able to grab momentum early in the second and sustain pressure in the offensive zone. Despite the early pressure, the Canes let up another goal from the point by Orlov, who was able to beat Ward through another screen.
The Caps extended the lead to three goals after a shot by Evgeny Kuznetsov hit the back of Karl Alzner and landed back on his stick on top of the crease. The Caps were only able to muster four shots on goal during the second period, but two of them went past Ward for goals.
Ward was visibly frustrated after the fourth goal and for good reason. He played solidly throughout the first two periods but gave up two goals off of bounces, and two goals off of double screens. The third period was more of the same, with goals by T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller giving the Caps a relatively easy five-goal win.
The issue with this team during the four-game losing streak has been a total loss of confidence after conceding a goal. When the momentum of a game has flipped, they have been unable to recover. The Canes took a 1-0 lead in Columbus before letting up four straight, and they let up six straight against the Penguins on Friday. It was more of the same tonight as they let up six straight on the Caps. One of the leaders on this team is going to need to step up in times where the Canes let up a goal and take charge; right now it just looks like they have no confidence.
The Canes have one more chance to earn a win before the all-star break Thursday against the Kings. This might be the most pivotal game of the season as the Canes will have a week break before playing again. The Kings are also on a four-game losing streak and will play the Devils Tuesday before visiting the Canes.
Rank the Performances
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