The Washington Capitals played a perfectly perplexing game against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. The Caps took an early lead, but bad defensive decisions and some kind of acute allergy to offense blew it for them in the third.
TJ Oshie scored the only goal of the first period, deftly deflecting Justin Schultz’s shot. Jakub Vrana finished off a beautiful four-on-four passing sequence for his ninth of the season. Daniel Sprong had the gosh-darn temerity to not pass to Ovi on an odd-man rush to make it 2-0. Then Janne Kuokkanen faced some criminally defective defense to crack the shutout, but Dmitry Orlov replied, making it 4-1 after forty minutes.
In the third, Miles Wood had a ton of steam as he took a pass from Jesper Bratt to beat Vanecek, then Yegor Sharangovich had an open lane to bring the Devils within one. Damon Severson tied it and took us to overtime. That’s where Jakub Vrana got back on the ice and won it.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) March 10, 2021
Someone wanna explain what in the sam hill this is? pic.twitter.com/MBPv3oJwzF
— Chris Cerullo (@CJC_95) March 10, 2021
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) March 10, 2021
After 25 years of watching this team and a decade of covering them, it’s hard for me to be stunned. But I’m stunned. The Capitals took a commanding lead and then just mega-turtled themselves out of a regulation win. The third period was slow-motion self-sabotage. It was obvious from the Miles Wood goal six minutes in that they had the wrong read on the game, but they didn’t adjust. The Devils aren’t a worldbeating team or anything, but they’re fast enough to punish the hell out of Washington’s meekness.
Good for the Devils, I guess. Maybe the Caps just needed to learn this lesson so they don’t repeat it.
Thank you, the one and only Jake Bean.
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