Capitals 5, Sharks 1: Washington capitalizes on San Jose mistakes
If we’re all watching the game together, are we each other’s Valentines?
Revenge was a dish best served without chocolates tonight for the Capitals in San Jose. The Sharks scored within the first three minutes of play, but were unable to score again in the remaining 57.
Some weird bounces made a couple of the Capitals’ goals possible, but even so, the Sharks needed to be better all over the ice.
Timo Meier and Evander Kane seemed to have at least one scoring chance go to waste in each period. Kane’s first missed chance, just past halfway through the first period, eventually led to Jakub Vrana’s goal to give the Capitals a lead that they never released.
The Sharks only took three shots through the first three-quarters of the third period, which isn’t what you want to see from a team that was down by three at that point.
Martin Jones’ awkward lateral movement made two of the Capitals’ goals possible. He committed to Vrana’s first pass/shot to the right side, putting him in a bad position when the puck bounced off Brent Burns’ shins. In the third period, he took too long to follow Evgeni Kuznetsov’s east-west pass to Alex Ovechkin, and was still moving laterally when the puck bounced off the back bar of the net.
For Jones to finish the season with a .901 average save percentage, he needs to play at a ~.910 pace for the rest of his games. Those are concerning numbers for a starting goaltender.
The Sharks have two days to regroup before facing the Vancouver Canucks again on Saturday.
The San Jose Sharks hope to break the hearts of the Washington Capitals tonight, who are on the second game of their trip out West. The Sharks have three high-scoring games in a row to give them confidence; the Capitals got shut out on Tuesday and really have themselves to blame.
The Capitals’ third line has some of their most productive players lately, especially Brett Connolly who has had a career year in offensive production. That's not to say that the Sharks can ignore the Capitals’ top two lines, but they can’t slack when the bottom six come on either.
The Sharks won’t be getting Erik Karlsson back tonight, which is unfortunate, but not disastrous. The Sharks have proven they can win without him.
Capitals, via Isabelle Khurshudyan:
Caps expected lineup:— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) February 14, 2019
Holtby to start.
Where to Watch
The game will be televised by NBCS’ regional networks for each city, NBCS-CA and NBCS-Washington. Radio fans can tune in on 98.5 KFOX or use the Sharks App.
I’ll be your liveblogger tonight, so get into something more comfortable and I’ll see you all soon!
18:18: Brett Connolly has one of the best scoring chances for either team, but the shot goes wide.
17:54: Was that a rush goal? That was a rush goal. Kevin Labanc got a step on his winger on the right wing. 1-0 Sharks.
16:33: Joe Pavelski takes a tipping call deep in the Caps’ zone. Penalty killing time.
16:22: Alex Ovechkin’s wrist shot was stopped by Jones, but the Caps had two dangerous guys lurking by the net. Tied game with the goal officially credited to TJ Oshie.
12:56: This past minute has easily been the most exciting stretch of play so far. Pavelski almost made the Caps pay for a wild pass, and a rebound forced Braden Holtby to make a second save. Then the play went to the Sharks’ end where the Caps’ top line threw their weight around; there was an uncalled trip against Meier that allowed the Caps forwards room by Jones.
8:40: A missed backhand chance by Kane...
8:27: ...eventually led to TJ Oshie taking the puck up the wing and passing to Jakub Vrana, whose second attempt got past Jones, who seemed to be reacting to Vrana’s first blocked shot.
5:21: Donskoi gets a short breakaway, but shoots wide.
1:00: It’s supposed to be the Sharks who get breakaways for their stars. Ovechkin pokes the puck at the blue line to charge in on Jones.
End of first period: Sharks 1, Capitals 2
The Sharks got a great interception in the neutral zone in the last minute of the period, but couldn’t keep control once they entered the offensive zone.
A couple unlucky bounces for the Sharks allowed the Capitals to hold the lead into the first intermission. I mean really, Vrana was trying to pass the puck and it came right back to him!
Timo Meier, who is obliged to score a hat trick tonight, had a couple good looks on net that went just wide.
18:25: The first minute saw a Sharks chance in front of the net. Since then the Caps have brought play to the Sharks.
16:25: Meier received a pass at the blue line, but couldn’t get a shot. Timo, please.
15:46: Jones had trouble moving from the right post to address the left wing, which is where Ovechkin was. Two goal advantage for the Caps.
13:55: The Sharks will have the man advantage after the commercial break.
10:02: The Sharks pin the Caps in the zone for over a minute, but can’t break through Holtby.
6:12: Vrana draws a penalty while driving in from the neutral zone.
1:58: Something really odd just happened and Oshie scored on a breakaway with a delayed penalty. I saw Vrana sliding across the ice and then Oshie hitting the back of the net.
End of second period: Sharks 1, Capitals 4
Well that’s over.
Ovechkin’s goal definitely could have been prevented; Jones’ struggles with side-to-side movements have handed the Caps half their goals.
I have dishes to wash and the Sharks have things to fix. Maybe by my cleaning the dishes, I can magically send energy to cleanse the Sharks? I don’t know guys, it’s past midnight for me.
18:43: Joe Thornton, who passed Teemu Selanne earlier today in all-time scoring, took down TJ Oshie who was seeking a tap-in hat-trick goal. Sharks to the PK.
14:05: Kane, Hertl, and Donskoi couldn’t make a rush goal happen.
10:12: TJ Oshie draws a penalty as the Sharks are trying to generate an attack.
8:04: Simek flying out of the box and immediately falling over seems like a pretty good metaphor for the Sharks’ performance tonight.
4:32: Martin Jones comes off for the extra attacker. May as well.
3:27: One last commercial break before Timo Meier scores a hat trick and saves us all. A goal a minute from one dude is totally possible.
2:35: Tom Wilson blocks a shot and chases the puck down the ice to make the Caps’ lead 5-1.
Final Score: Sharks 1, Capitals 5