Friday, March 24 2023

Capitals frustrated over one ‘bad minute’ in loss to Stars originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON — The Capitals found themselves on the losing end of Thursday night’s 2-1 game against the Dallas Stars, but it didn’t feel like they put together a losing effort. Washington outshot the Stars 46-26, dominating puck possession and forcing Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger to finish one save short of his career high for a single game.

It’s a feeling that has been all too common for the Capitals, who prior to their just-snapped, five-game winning streak, had often found themselves generating more chances than the teams that were beating them.

On Thursday, the Stars scored two goals in a 1:19 span early in the third period including one on a power play. For the other 58:41 of the game, the Capitals looked like the team in control.

“We had a bad minute and that kind of killed us,” winger Conor Sheary said. “We wanted to get the kill going out for the third and build off that, obviously we didn’t do that and they scored right away. I think 59 minutes we played really good hockey and probably if we scored on some of our chances, we’re able to score a few more, would’ve been able to win that game but didn’t happen. I don’t think it was for a lack of effort or anything.”

After beating their opponents in nearly every possession metric for the month of November other than goals scored, the Capitals have come out in December converting on more of their chances. That trend came to a screeching halt against the Stars with Oettinger making a series of clutch saves that limited them to one goal by Sheary for the night.

The loss, stinging with the pain of familiar wounds, prevented the Capitals from moving into a playoff spot for the first time since the opening month of the season.

“It’s the result that we’re not happy with, especially with the effort that we put in,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’re going to go back and look at the scoring chances and they’re going to be ridiculous so it’s tough. Our guys are down the road of doing everything they can to win hockey games and tonight it didn’t want to drop for us.”

Despite not picking up with the win, Sheary felt there were “a lot of good things” the Capitals could take away from the game. They’re going to need to find some positives to carry over moving forward amid a six-game stretch that pits them against five teams defending playoff spots.

It’s that gauntlet of opponents and the Capitals’ place in the standings that’s taking precedent in their locker room, even with Alex Ovechkin closing in on Gordie Howe’s No. 2 spot on the all-time goals leaderboard.

“We’re trying to win games here,” winger T.J. Oshie said. “Ovi’s gonna do it and we’re all gonna be the first ones that congratulate him and be super, super proud of him, but we’re also in a little bit of a hole here. So we’ll take care of his business and as a team we gotta focus on getting more wins here. The little run here was nice but now we got one loss in a row and we got to come back and go to work and focus on winning.”

Source: Yahoo Sports


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