CAPS SCORE THREE IN THIRD, WILSON RINGS PIPE IN LAST MINUTE
The Washington Capitals and the Dallas Stars faced off with three of the top four goal scorers and five of the top fifteen point producing players on the ice, and the score and pace reflected that.
The Caps (40-10-4, 84 points) spotted Dallas four second period goals and made it interesting at the end. Despite three third period goals, the Caps fell in regulation for just the 10th time this season, a 4-3 decision to the Stars.
A lackluster first period with only six shots on goal was just the beginning for the Caps. By the end of this one, the Caps would take 23 shots to the Stars’ 35. After four goals in the second period, Braden Holtby was replaced with Philipp Grubauer for the third.
It took until 5:57 in the third period for the Caps to score. During the powerplay John Carlson saucered it to Alex Ovechkin in the “Ovi Spot” who snapped it in. It was a small highlight for the league’s goal leader in an otherwise lackluster game.
Ovechkin’s goal might have provided a spark. Not too long after, Justin Williams put one in on a neat roof-top shot that left 11 minutes for the Stars to protect the most dangerous lead in hockey. The final tally for the Caps ticked when Andre Burakovsky took a shot at it on an unassisted goal with 6:06 remaining.
Despite a furious finish, where Tom Wilson rang one off the pipe, the Caps could just not get out of the hole they had dug themselves in the second period.
The Stars (36-15-5, 77 points) took the 1-0 lead on a 3-on-1 breakaway that came from a brutal Justin Williams turnover. There was nothing Holtby could do as Alec Hemsky slipped the puck to Mattias Janmark, who took a wrister into the top corner.
The Stars struck again as Jamie Benn tallied his 29th goal of the season. Nate Schmidt was unable to clear the puck as Benn whiffed on his first swing. It was enough to put Holtby on the ground and the second swing went right above the Caps netminder.
Tyler Seguin took his chance when he went toe-to-toe with Holtby. Seguin found the five hole and showed why the Stars are a powerhouse of offense.
The Stars weren’t done yet. With a 5-on-3 power play chance, Seguin went ahead and grabbed goal No. 2 on the night (30 for the year) and the Stars entered the third period with a minute left on the power play.
It took 54 games for the Caps to join the rest of the league with double-digit regulation losses and they have yet to lose in regulation two games in a row. Let’s see what happens at Verizon.
NEXT GAME: The Caps return home to take on the LA Kings on Tuesday at 7 p.m.