Thursday night the Caps lost 2-1 to the Nashville Predators, after giving up a two-on-one rush early in overtime. The Caps seemed to have their skating legs under them, but Preds goalie Pekka Rinne stood strong and neither team ended up generating much offense. In fact, the most offensive thing that happened was Tom Wilson‘s fists solidly connecting with Austin Watson‘s face in an old-school hockey brawl.
The game ended almost entirely even in shot attempts at 37 to 36 at five-on-five, in slight favor of the Caps. Scoring chances and shots on goal were also nearly even. That said, it felt like the Caps had the better of the offensive zone time, and simply failed to convert on any of their setups besides a Brett Connolly goal on a turnover in the first period.
It goes to Jay Beagle. The fact of the matter is that the fourth line, while over-deployed, continues to see decent results. Beagle was a plus-six in five-on-five shot attempts, tied for best on the team with Matt Niskanen. He didn’t see the toughest matchups, but he had five defensive zone starts and the fourth line had multiple scary chances that they just couldn’t finish. Which seems to be a trend. Or is it…
The Caps line of Jay Beagle, Tom Wilson, and Daniel Winnik is actually 15th in the league in their raw rate of five-on-five scoring, with 2.7 goals per 60 minutes (out of lines with at least 300 minutes). That is only third best on the Caps, behind the Kuznetsov line at 3.4 goals per 60 and the Backstrom-Ovechkin-Oshie line, which is first in the league with 4.1 goals per 60. In terms of raw even strength scoring (with at least 300 minutes on-ice), the Caps have the first, eighth, and 15th deadliest lines in the league.
Stats courtesy of Corsica.Hockey and NaturalStatTrick.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI .
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