Not Tonight - Throughout the first quarter of the 2019-20 season, the Capitals have been resourceful in routinely finding ways to win hockey games on nights when they're not necessarily playing at the peak of their collective game. They nearly did so again on Monday night against the visiting Arizona Coyotes, but a pair of video reviews that went against them forced the Caps to settle for a single point instead of two in a 4-3 shootout loss.
Washington wasn't able to convert on any of a number of strong scoring chances early in the game, as Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta made a number of impressive saves. The Caps overpassed themselves out of some opportunities as well, and they struggled to find consistency in the game's first 40 minutes. When they were able to break the Arizona forecheck, the Caps were able to generate odd-man rushes and looks at the other end. They were also successful when they were physical and exacted a toll on the Arizona defense with their own forecheck, but again they weren't consistent in that regard.
Ultimately, the Caps were undone by the first minute of the second period. Down 1-0 heading into the middle frame, the Capitals committed a pair of turnovers in neutral ice in the first 45 seconds of the period, and both of them ended up in the back of the Washington net. The second of those - a Christian Fischer tally from the top of the paint - required a lengthy video review to determine that it was indeed a goal, rather than a spectacular glove save from Ilya Samsonov.
"What we're going to take away is our first two periods," says Caps winger T.J. Oshie. "It was way too sloppy; a lot of standing around and trying to look for plays instead of skating. There was one line that was doing a lot of skating, one guy mostly, and that was [Evgeny Kuznetsov], and you saw how much success that he had. He is obviously on a different level than the rest of us, but a lot of success out of him because he was moving his legs and skating, that whole line was. They carried us tonight and got us back into it."
Kuznetsov scored midway through the second and early in the third to pull the Caps within one, and Oshie tied the game with 1:16 left in regulation, scoring on a rebound with Samsonov pulled for the extra attacker.
Video: ARI@WSH: Oshie slams home rebound for game-tying goal
Midway through the extra session, Oshie put a pretty move on Raanta and beat him, seemingly winning it for Washington. But video review showed that Oshie was in just ahead of the play, and the offside ruling nullified what would have been an overtime game-winner. Arizona went on to win in the shootout, and the Caps are probably fortunate to have pulled a point.
"We'll look at it like it was a bad first two periods, a good way to fight back, and we were lucky to get the point," says Oshie.
The Streak - Although the Capitals' winning streak was halted at six and their home winning streak was stopped at five, Washington was able to extend its point streak to 12 straight games (10-0-2), the longest in the league this season. The streak is three games shy of the franchise standard of 15, set nearly a decade ago when the Caps went 14-0-1 over a 15-game stretch from Jan. 13 through Feb. 10, 2010.
Video: Postgame Locker Room | November 11
Number Nine, Number Nine - Kuznetsov scored a pair of goals in the loss to the Coyotes, extending the Caps' remarkable run of games with at least one multi-goal scorer to nine straight. That extends the franchise record broken last week; the Caps had a six-game run of multi-goal scorers back in 1987, and that mark stood for 32 years before falling last Thursday in a win at Florida.
During the life of the streak, the Caps have had three games in which two players have scored multiple goals. Seven different players have had two or more goals over the life of the streak, and Kuznetsov has had two games with two goals during that stretch. He also had two goals in the Caps' 6-5 shootout win over the Canucks in Vancouver on Oct. 25.
Save The Overtime (For Me) - Monday's game marked the fifth time in the last eight games and the eighth time in 19 games this season that a Washington game has required overtime in order to settle the score. The Caps have split those eight games right down the middle, going 3-3 in overtime decisions and 1-1 in games decided via the shootout.
By The Numbers - John Carlson led the Capitals with 27:17 in ice time and three blocked shots … Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with seven shots on net and 10 shot attempts … Tom Wilson led the Caps with seven hits.