After a lackluster and disorganized start that saw them fall behind 2-0 early in the second period, the Capitals rebounded with 2 third-period goals to send the game to overtime before Brooks Laich deflected in Alex Ovechkin‘s point shot on the powerplay. Michal Neuvirth had a spectacular night stopping 37 shots to keep the Caps from getting blown out.
The Good: The Capitals’ powerplay woke up, going 2 for 5 on the night even without quarterback Mike Green. Besides Laich’s goal in overtime, Alex Semin also scored a powerplay goal to get the Caps on the board late in the second period. Nicklas Backstrom continued his strong offensive play with two powerplay assists on the night. John Carlson also added an assist in place of the injured Green.
The Bad: The Capitals’ defense. Playing without Green and Tom Poti, the makeshift defense struggled to contain the Predators fast and shifty forwards right from the opening faceoff when Steve Sullivan snuck behind the defense for a glorious scoring chance. The defense, which featured both John Erskine and Tyler Sloan plus Brian Fahey who was playing in his first NHL game, was sloppy all game.
The Ugly: This was a tale of two games. The Predators badly outshot the Capitals in the first period, 18-7, and they had the game’s first 5 powerplays. By midway through the game, though, the Capitals had found their footing and outshot the Predators the rest of the game. The Caps also had 5 of the last 6 powerplays.