Photo: Scott Levy
Coming into Friday night, the Caps had been playing well. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they nearly beat two of the leagueās best teams. But then they played Columbus. It was a disaster, and a moment of reckoning.
After the game, the fan base ā and the team ā seemed to hit the panic button. People on Twitter smashed their keyboards, pointing out Washingtonās glaring defensive holes and overreliance on the power play. None of that, however, is anything new. Itās not likely to change before playoff time either.
On Saturday, Adam Oates came up with wacky line combinations in hopes of righting Washingtonās four game skid. It didnāt work.
The game got off to an awful start when Rick Nash picked off a silly defensive zone pass from Dmitry OrlovĀ to put New York up just 70 seconds in. Fifteen minutes later, Nash was at it again. A lack of spatial awareness led to two hooking penalties on the Caps. On the ensuing 5-on-3, the former Blue Jacket floated a weak wrister through Phillip Grubauer’s legs. About a minute and a half later, Derek Stepan put the nail in Washington’s coffin with a shot though traffic. Braden Holtby came in, but the game was already over.
Ovechkin tried to give the Caps life with a 5-on-3 bullet early in the second, but Ryan Callahan put Washington back in their place just 86 seconds later. This was never a game anyway.Ā Rangers slam Caps 4-1.