The Washington Capitals are looking to squeeze into the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, so a game against one of the league’s worst teams this season should have been a walk in the park. But it wasn’t. A lackluster performance all around in a game where the defensive play went out the window led to an overtime loss after being up by three goals in the first period.
Thirteen goals were scored in the Capitals’ 7-6 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night. For a team that needs every point they can get if they have any chance of making the playoffs, last night’s performance was embarrassing.
Alex Ovechkin Scores 40th Goal of the Season…Again
Alex Ovechkin broke another record as he hit the 40-goal mark for the 13th time in his career surpassing Wayne Gretzky, who did it 12 times, against the Blue Jackets making it 1-0 on the night the franchise recognized him for surpassing Gordie Howe’s goal totals.
Related: 3 Takeaways From Capitals’ 4-2 Loss Against Kings
While the Capitals didn’t win, it was a night of celebration prior to puck drop as the team recognized the best forward to ever play in their jersey after reaching 802 goals and becoming second all-time in goals, behind only Gretzky who has 894. “The Great 8” now sits at 820 career goals, only 72 behind “The Great One”.
Lindgren Has Weak Game
Charlie Lindgren started the game Tuesday night and did not play well at all. He stopped 32 of 39 shots which comes out to a .821 save percentage. While the team didn’t play solid defensively as a whole, his performance was not the best. Hopefully he is able to come back stronger during his next start, but an improvement is needed if he wants to keep the backup job next season.
I fully expect Lindgren to get a couple more starts before the season ends, and I fully expect him to bounce back. Every goaltender has a bad game, so hopefully that’s all this was. It’s interesting to add though, he did get an assist on Nick Jensen’s second goal of the night.
Nick Jensen Has 2-Goal Night
Jensen only had two goals coming into the game last night, but led the Capitals offensively in the loss to the Jackets. A two-goal performance gave him goals three and four on the season. While the team lost, he was easily the best player on the ice Tuesday night.
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Aside from his offensive play, Jensen played really well in his own end. He finished the night plus-1 and had three blocked shots with a hit. His all-around play and leadership are something the Capitals will need if they want to try and make a final push for the wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
What’s Next for the Capitals?
Every game for the rest of the season is important for the Capitals. They will be back in action Thursday, March 23 to face the struggling Chicago Blackhawks. Usually, a game like this could be looked at as an easy win. Unfortunately, with the recent play of the team, they’ll need to come into the game as focused as ever if they want to pull out the two points they desperately need.
The goaltenders have not been confirmed as of yet, but Darcy Kuemper’s injury may keep him out for another game, meaning we could see Lindgren back in between the pipes facing off against Alex Stalock. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zach Fucale was given the nod Thursday night, but either way, the team really needs a win.