Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals enjoy a day away from the rink following Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders at Verizon Center:
Perreault injured: Caps center Mathieu Perreault left the game in the third period after he was cut in the face by his own protective visor. Perreault was in front of the Islanders bench when the butt end of Kyle Okposo’s stick broke Perreault’s shield and cut his face.
“He got cut pretty good,” Caps coach Adam Oates said. “He was getting stitched up.”
Oates said he expects Perreault to be OK to play this weekend when the Caps begin a three-game road trip with games in Buffalo on Saturday and Philadelphia on Sunday.
Where they stand: With their 3-2 loss to the Isles, the Caps now sit in 11th place in the East, four points behind the New York Rangers and seven behind the Southeast Division-leading Winnipeg Jets. The Rangers have a game in hand on the Caps which they’ll play Thursday night in Ottawa.
Since all of the other teams in the East play between now and Friday night the Caps are likely to lose more ground in the standings by the time they return to action Saturday night in Buffalo.
No power: Tuesday night marked just the fourth time this season that the Capitals have had a game in which neither team scored on the power play. The Caps went 0-for-3 and the Isles went 0-for-2. It also marked the first time in six games the Caps went without a power-play goal. They still rank first in the NHL on the man-advantage with a 24.1 percent success rate.
Solving Nabokov: Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov improved his career record against the Caps to 12-1-2, which means there’s a good chance the Caps will see him again when the Isles return to D.C. on April 4, the day after the NHL trade deadline.
Streakers: Right wing Alex Ovechkin has six goals and four assists during his current six-game point streak. Defenseman John Carlson has a goal and three assists on his four-game streak. Troy Brouwer has three goals and three assists in his last six games. Marcus Johansson has three goals and five assists in his last seven games but was stopped on three great scoring chances.
Getting pucks through: The Caps were outshot by the Islanders by a 31-22 count but that was a poor indication of zone time. The Caps had another 26 attempts blocked and 18 more miss the net. In comparison, the Isles had 11 attempts blocked and nine miss the net. That amounts to 66 attempts by the Caps and 51 by the Isles.
Typical Ovi: Playing in front of fiancé Maria Kirilenko, Alex Ovechkin generated 11 attempts at the net. Four were stopped by Nabokov, five were blocked and two missed the mark. He also delivered three hits. Ovechkin ranks second behind Patrick Kane  in shots with 140, ranks first in missed shots  and ranks 21st among forwards in hits with 80.
Roster decisions: The Caps are at the current limit of 23 players and with defensemen Tomas Kundratek [knee] and John Erskine [apparent wrist] hoping to return this weekend, they’ll have some roster decisions to make.
Steve Oleksy has played very well in the absence of Kundratek, but he does not have to clear waivers to be sent back to the AHL and he seems to be the likely candidate. Dmitry Orlov also can be sent to the Bears without passing through waivers. But with Orlov playing well, would the Caps consider placing Jeff Schultz, a healthy scratch in four straight games making $3 million, on waivers?