Sudden thoughts: Erat waiting, Byfuglien rumors

Sudden thoughts: Erat waiting, Byfuglien rumors
January 15, 2014, 10:15 am
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Highlights: Sharks 2, Capitals 1 (SO)

Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals wake up in Pittsburgh today following their 2-1 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night:

Extra time: After starting the season 10-2 in games decided in overtime or shootout, the Caps have lost five straight extra-time games. They’ve lost three straight shootouts. Alex Ovechkin fell to 2-for-13 in shootouts, Nicklas Backstrom slipped to 6-for-12 and Eric Fehr is now 5-for-8.

Newsy notes: The Capitals outshot the Sharks 36-29 and have outscored opponents 57-47 in the second period this season. They’ve been outscored 40-33 in first periods. The Caps have earned a point in nine of their last 10 home games (5-1-4).

Back-to-backs: The Caps are 9-3-5 in back-to-back games this season -- 5-1-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets, and 4-2-2 in the second.

Player notes: With his league-leading 33rd goal, Alex Ovechkin now has six points in his last six games [3 goals, 3 assists]. Center   Mikhail Grabovski earned an assist, marking his third point in his last four games. Mike Green led all skaters in ice time on Tuesday night (25:11).

[RELATED: Oates weighing his options ahead of Pittsburgh]

Erat in holding pattern: Marty Erat [no goals, 15 assists in 39 games] was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game Tuesday night. Between periods, Erat said his agent and Caps general maanger George McPhee are “still talking” but said “nothng’s changed” in his desire to be traded.

Trade talk: In his 30 thoughts column on Tuesday, Elliotte Friedman wondered if Capitals coach Adam Oates would love to have the chance to coach Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, but added he had “zero evidence” that a trade was in the works. Including this season, Byfuglien, 28, has three years remaining on a contract that carries a $5.2 million cap hit. Caps defenseman Mike Green, also 28, has two years left on a contract that averages $6.083 million a season. Both are right-handed shots. Speaking of trades, new Sabres GM Tim Murray says no one on the Buffalo roster is untouchable, adding, “"If other GMs want to try to take advantage of the new guy, tell them to give me a call.”