ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Washington Capitals are not off to the start they expected or would have liked as they enter their game Monday against the Edmonton Oilers with a 1-4-0 record.
There are several reasons for the Capitals' struggles, a lack of even-strength offensive production from the top six and unsteady goaltending chief among them, but another area where they are in dire need of improvement is their starts.
Washington has allowed eight first-period goals through five games, second only to Edmonton's nine. In fact, the Capitals have allowed their opponents to score within their first four shots in all but one game this season, a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 10.
Juxtapose that with just three first-period goals all season, third-fewest in the NHL, and the Capitals' woes from the opening faceoff are magnified.