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Caps Draw a Blank in Tourney Finale

A 7-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Nashville Predators sends Caps propects home from 2016 Florida rookie tournament empty-handed

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps / Monumental Sports Network

For the Washington Capitals, the 2016 Florida rookie tournament started well enough. The Caps took an early 2-0 lead in their first game of the tourney, a Saturday afternoon tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But after dropping a 7-6 decision to the Bolts and then falling 5-2 to Florida on Sunday, Washington came into today's tourney finale against Nashville seeking to salvage a win.

It didn't happen. In fact, those first five minutes of the tourney turned out to be the high water mark for Washington. 

The Caps dug a three-goal hole for themselves in the first period of Tuesday morning's game against Nashville, and they ended up on the wrong end of a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the Predators. Washington heads home at 0-3 for the tourney, and it was outscored 19-8 in the three games.

For the Washington Capitals, the 2016 Florida rookie tournament started well enough. The Caps took an early 2-0 lead in their first game of the tourney, a Saturday afternoon tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But after dropping a 7-6 decision to the Bolts and then falling 5-2 to Florida on Sunday, Washington came into today's tourney finale against Nashville seeking to salvage a win.

It didn't happen. In fact, those first five minutes of the tourney turned out to be the high water mark for Washington. 

The Caps dug a three-goal hole for themselves in the first period of Tuesday morning's game against Nashville, and they ended up on the wrong end of a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the Predators. Washington heads home at 0-3 for the tourney, and it was outscored 19-8 in the three games. 

"I thought the boys stuck together and we had our chances the past two games," says Caps right wing Riley Barber. "Today wasn't our best, but we just regroup and get ready for main camp."

Shane Walsh staked Nashville to an early 1-0 lead at 3:49 of the first frame of Tuesday's finale. When Caps defenseman Madison Bowey was assessed a double minor for cross-checking and hi-sticking at 6:02 of the first, the Preds had a chance to expand that lead. Washington expertly killed off the four-minute Predators power play, only to surrender a goal to Eric Robinson five seconds after Bowey exited the box. 

Kevin Fiala's goal off the rush at 16:25 of the first expanded the Nashville lead to 3-0.

Three second-period power play opportunities failed to spark the Caps, and when Max Gortz scored to make it a 4-0 game at 9:58 of the second, Caps goaltender Adam Carlson was retired for the contest after yielding four goals on 19 shots in 30 minutes of work. 

Vitek Vanacek finished up in goal for the Caps. He surrendered three goals, all in the third period, on 17 shots.

Nashville pushed its lead to 5-0 on Robinson's power-play goal at 1:16 of the third. Fiala netted his second of the game with 5:38 remaining and Vladislav Kamenev closed out the scoring at 19:47 of the third. 

Washington's Nolan LaPorte fought Walsh early in the third period and Caps center Zach Sanford dropped the gloves with Nashville's Jonathan-Ismael Diaby. Sanford might have had the Caps' best scoring chance in the game; he forced a turnover and skated in on a shorthanded breakaway midway through the first, only to be denied by Preds goalie Juuse Saros. Saros (16 saves) and Jonas Gunnarsson combined on the shutout for Nashville. 

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