After a franchise-record 15-straight home game wins, the Capitals dropped Monday night’s decision 4-2 to the Dallas Stars, ending the streak. The Stars always seem to have the Caps’ number, and they’ve been on a streak of their own, beating the Caps in Washington in every matchup since 2006. Holtby has never beaten the Stars. That said, the Caps made quite a comeback push with 29 shot attempts in the third period (all situations) to just eight by the Stars.
The Caps ended up with 58 shot attempts to the Stars’ 40 at five-on-five. Even after the rare loss they still lead the division by seven points. Despite the at-times frustrating playoff matchup structure, they will want to keep that lead as it will likely award them a weaker first round opponent than if they were to sit in the two or three spot.
The new guy gets it this time: Kevin Shattenkirk. He was paired with Brooks Orpik, and while we’ve often referred to Nate Schmidt as an “Orpik Whisperer” maybe Shattenkirk has the gift as well. They ended the night plus-eight in shot attempts at five-on-five, best of any Caps pairing. While the Caps outshot the Stars fairly handily, it wasn’t a great night in the scoring chance department with the final tally 23-17 in favor of the Stars at five-on-five. But the Shattenkirk-Orpik pairing came out as the only pair above water in that statistic, and Shattenkirk continues to pass the eye-test with his crisp passing plays.
Over the last 25 games, the Caps have scored about 10.5 goals per 60 minutes spent on the powerplay, the most of any such stretch this season. That said, on the broader scale the Caps are actually close to minimum with regards to shot attempt and scoring chance generation on the PP in the Barry Trotz era. Despite a recent uptick, this has indeed been a down year for the Caps on the PP. We all know that PP opportunities cannot be relied upon in the playoffs, and powerplay effectiveness can vanish in a puff of smoke, but this is still a rare area where the Caps have been slightly weaker during this generally successful season.
Stats courtesy of Corsica.Hockey and NaturalStatTrick.
Photo by Patrick Smith.
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