Reporting Sky Kerstein
The Capitals had a 1-0 lead with 4:46 remaining in the third, but 28 seconds later gave up one goal, then with 24.3 left gave up another and then an empty netter five seconds later ended it as the Caps have lost four of their last five (1-3-1) falling to the Nashville Predators 3-1.
Both Tomas Vokoun (28 saves) and Pekka Renne (39 saves) were fantastic all game and made great save after great save. It was scoreless until Troy Brouwer got a nice feed from Marcus Johansson and finally got one on the board beating Pekka Renne with a high wrister with only 4:46 left in the third and it felt like the Caps had all the momentum in this defensive duel.
But a defensive breakdown only 28 seconds later, with the Caps number one line with Jeff Schultz and John Carlson on the blue line, gave Shea Weber an opportunity to pass the puck across the goal line to a wide open Martin Erat to tie it up. Another defensive breakdown occurred on the Predators second goal when John Erskine lost his stick in the corner and gave an opportunity to Colin Wilson & Martin Erat to do a quick give and go and Wilson didn’t miss the wide open net with 24.3 left in the third and pretty much ended it for the Caps. Shea Weber nailed an empty netter five seconds later to add the icing on the cake and making it a 3-1 game.
Brooks Laich centered the second line with Jason Chimera & Alexander Semin and led all Caps with seven shots on goal. Alexander Semin had four shots on goal and four shots that were blocked working while working with Laich. Semin also had his 12th penalty of the season to easily lead the Caps in that category. Semin now has a minor penalty in his last five games, 9 of his last 11, and 11 of the Caps 16 games this season. Roman Hamrlik is second on the team in minors with seven.
The Caps are only one game into a three game road trip and Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau will have to wait one more game to win his 200th as an NHL Head Coach as the Caps head up to Winnipeg for the first time since December 1oth, 1995 and play the Jets, who are last in the Southeast Division but come off an impressive 5-2 win over the Lightning last night, on Thursday.
1st 15:14 Brouwer (5), Johansson (5), Eakin (3)