KANATA, Ontario -- Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators Thursday night at Scotiabank Place, which snapped the Caps’ win streak at eight games:
How it happened: Braden Holtby would probably like a do-over. Although he made several acrobatic saves, the two goals he allowed were tough ones. The first came 1:15 into the first period on a wrister from Kyle Turris that squirted under his blocker arm. The Caps recovered to tie the score on Mike Ribeiro’s 13th goal of the season midway through the second period but a giveaway by Holtby led to Ottawa’s second goal. Holtby settled the puck behind his net and tried to hit Karl Alzner with a pass at the bottom of the right circle. Instead, the puck went right to Cory Conacher, who snapped is 11th goal of the season into the open net before Holtby could recover. Turris finished off the Caps with an empty netter with 1:27 remaining.
What it means: The Caps’ lead in the Southeast Division is down to two points with four games to play. The Winnipeg Jets blew a pair of one-goal leads but rallied to beat the Hurricanes in overtime, closing within two points of the Caps with their fifth straight win.
That keeps the Caps’ magic number to clinch the Southeast Division at seven points earned by the Caps or lost by the Jets.
Searching for Backstrom: Nicklas Backstrom did not take a shift after the 13 minute mark of the third period after a slap shot from Mike Green hit him in the left arm. The club is calling it an upper body injury and Backstrom, who has played every game this season and is second on the club with 44 points, will be evaluated in Montreal on Friday.
Penalty killers: The Caps did a nice job killing off three Ottawa power plays. Adam Oates went with forward pairs of Jay Beagle with Marty Erat; Eric Fehr with Matt Hendricks; and Troy Brouwer with Nicklas Backstrom. The defense pairs were John Erskine with John Carlson; and Karl Alzner with Steve Oleksy.
Save of the night: For the Senators, Craig Anderson robbed Eric Fehr on a breakaway with 9 minutes remaining in regulation, stopping him with his left pad. For the Caps, Holtby sprinted from his left post to his right to stop Jakob Silfverberg in the second period.
Look ahead: The Capitals will practice at 12:30 Friday at the Bell Centre in Montreal, then face the Canadiens on Saturday night at 7 p.m. They return home for their final three games of the regular season against Winnipeg, Ottawa and Boston.