Caps can't hold lead in wild loss to Ottawa

Caps can't hold lead in wild loss to Ottawa
November 27, 2013, 10:00 pm
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3 first period goals for Caps vs Sens

Washington Capitals defenseman Tyson Strachan (23) fights with Ottawa Senators right wing Chris Neil (25) in the first period at Verizon Center.

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ wild 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night at Verizon Center:

How it happened: The Caps rolled out to a 3-1 lead on goals by Eric Fehr [his second], Marcus Johansson [his third] and Brooks Laich [his fourth], but saw it vanish in the second period when the Senators outshot them 19-3 and outscored them 2-0. The Sens took the lead with their third power-play goal of the game 6:05 into the third period, but the Caps tied it at 4 with John Carlson’s power-play goal with 3:27 remaining. Sixty-four seconds later Zack Smith split defensemen Nate Schmidt and Mike Green and snapped a far side shot that beat Braden Holtby off his left arm. Bobby Ryan finished off the scoring with an empty-netter with 13 seconds remaining.

What it means: With their fourth loss in a row the Capitals fell to 12-11-2 and into third place in the Metropolitan Division with 26 points. The Rangers [13-12-0] also have 26 points, but one more win than the Caps.

Long skate to the bench: Capitals coach Adam Oates stressed the need to stay out of the penalty box against the Senators, but the Caps gave Ottawa six power plays and allowed goals on three of them. The killer penalty came 5:34 into the third period when Fehr tripped Bobby Ryan to set up Zibanejad’s go-ahead goal. The Caps took another tough penalty a few minutes later when Mikhail Grabovski hooked Milan Michalek on a shorthanded breakaway to negate a Capitals power play.

Factoids: The Senators improved to 52-11-4 when Chris Phillips scores a goal. Alex Ovechkin picked up a secondary assist on Johansson’s power-play goal for his team-leading 28th point in 23 games. Ovechkin has gone without a point in just six games this season.

Look ahead: The Capitals will have the day off for Thanksgiving and hit the ice at 9 a.m. Friday for a morning skate, ahead of their 5 p.m. home game against the Montreal Canadiens. The Caps follow that up with a 7 p.m. game against the Islanders Saturday night in Uniondale, N.Y.