Washington Capitals: 5 Thoughts After Loss to Pittsburgh Penguins

Washington Capitals Look for Answers After Loss

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday night, the Washington Capitals took on rivals Pittsburgh Penguins on the front end of a home and home series and came out the loser by a 3-2 scoreline. The Capitals were actually the better team in terms of statistics, as they outshot the Penguins 33-20 and had one more power play than their opponents, but still ultimately lost.
Here are five takeaways from the Capitals' loss on Monday night, taking on both positives and negatives.

5. Chimera-Fehr-Ward Line Must Be Kept Together Moving Forward

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5. Chimera-Fehr-Ward Line Must Be Kept Together Moving Forward

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The best line for the Capitals on the night was clearly the third one, which was composed of Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr and Joel Ward. All three players were dedicated to chipping in pucks and developing a hard working forecheck, and they set an example that Adam Oates should insist his entire team follows. That the unit only contributed one goal was surprising, and they must be kept together moving forward.

4. Brooks Orpik Knows How to Get In the Head of Alexander Ovechkin

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4. Brooks Orpik Knows How to Get In the Head of Alexander Ovechkin

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Alexander Ovechkin wasn't entirely taken out of the game offensively, but he did seem to focus solely on the physical side of the game after taking a run at Brooks Orpik in the second period. The defender clearly got in Ovechkin's head, and the Capitals suffered for it for the latter part of the second period and early portion of the third.

3. Evgeny Kuznetsov Will Be Brought Along Slowly

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3. Evgeny Kuznetsov Will Be Brought Along Slowly

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Adam Oates set out to introduce new addition Evgeny Kuznetsov slowly by putting him on the fourth line to begin the game, and he continued this strategy during the game. Kuznetsov only appeared on the ice for 10:22, although it was encouraging to see him get an opportunity on the power play. For better or worse, Oates is going to make Kuznetsov earn 5-on-5 opportunities with his play.

2. Jaroslav Halak Is Better With Heavy Action

Jaroslav Halak Washington Capitals
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2. Jaroslav Halak Is Better With Heavy Action

Jaroslav Halak Washington Capitals
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There are many goaltenders who are known to struggle after receiving no shots against for a long period of time, and it appears Jaroslav Halak may be one of these people. By the time the Penguins had scored their third goal 12:40 into the second period they only had nine shots on goal, and they truly didn't have much possession at all. Halak isn't a bad goalie, but he certainly appreciates consistent action more than none at all.

1. Time Keeps Running Out

Tom Wilson Washington Capitals
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1. Time Keeps Running Out

Tom Wilson Washington Capitals
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The biggest thing that came out of the game against Pittsburgh is that the Capitals didn't get any points, and they need them badly. They remain one point out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings each have two games in hand. With only 16 games left, the Capitals need to start picking up points in abundance.

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