Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals return to Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Sunday on what was originally a scheduled day off:
Tough loss: The Capitals fell for the second time in three games but they’ve managed at least a point in seven of their last eight games [5-1-2]. They remain in second in the Metro Division, 13 points behind the first-place Penguins and five ahead of the Devils, who moved into third place with the win. If the playoffs started today, the Caps and Devils would meet in the first round.
What the Caps were saying: ““They worked hard down low on us, and it’s a matter of staying tight. We kind of let them slip behind us and get some unnecessary goals. I’m sure we’ll address it with the coaches [Sunday].” – defenseman Mike Green
What the Devils were saying: “He amazes me every night I come to the rink. I don’t have a lot more adjectives to describe him, but he’s a pleasure to work with.” – Devils coach Peter DeBoer on Jaromir Jagr, who had a goal and two assists to tie Mark Messier for seventh on the NHL’s all-time goals list and draw within two points of Mario Lemieux for seventh on the all-time points list
Ovi speak: Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season and led the Caps with five shots. He is the only player in the NHL to score 30 or more goals in every season since 2005-06. Dating back to last season, the 28-year-old captain has scored 62 goals in his last 82 games. Ovechkin has scored a goal in four consecutive games.
Ward-O: Joel Ward scored a goal and earned an assist and has five points in his last five games. His linemate, Marty Erat, picked up two assists and his four in his last three games.
Target practice: Braden Holtby has faced 30 or more shots in 18 of his 27 appearances.
Loose pucks: Mikhail Grabovski has nine points [3 goals, 6 assists] in his last nine games. Troy Brouwer has one goal and three assists in his last three games. tallied an assist, extending his point/assist streak to three games (12/17-12/21: 1g, 3a). Aaron Volpatti played in his 100th NHL game. Mike Green led the Caps in ice time at 23:11.
Second chances: The Capitals scored three goals in the second period for the 10th time this season. Washington has outscored opponents 50-35 in second periods this season.
What's next: The Caps will have an optional practice today at 11 a.m. at Kettler. They are back in action Monday night at home against the Anaheim Ducks.