The Capitals continued their push for the playoffs Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, who look to do the same in Verizon Center. The Last times the two faced each other was in early October, when the Dallas Stars won at home. The Capitals come in with a shootout lose in their last game on Sunday, when they traveled to Nashville. Dallas, however, won their last game against the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Saturday. The Capitals could have moved into a playoff spot with a win and a Columbus Blue Jackets loses, but with the loss the Caps must now scoreboard watch hard.
Capitals coach Adam coach tweaked with his lineup in Mikhail Grabovski second game since missing all but one game since January 27th or 28th with an ankle injury. Oates had Grabovski playing left wing in Ovechkin’s line, Dustin Penner was scratched because of illness, Evgeny Kuznetsov returned to the bottom 6, and Julien Brouillette replaced injured Patrick Wey.
The Stars took a late first period lead on a goal scored by Tyler Seguin, his 19th goal in 13 games. Seguin deflected a Jamie Benn shot pasted Jaro Halak’s glove, off the pipe, and in the net. The Stars lead 1-0, 15:08 into the first period. Kari Lehtonen denied what could have been another almost Alex Ovechkin goal moments before. Ovechkin entered the offensive zone on the left wing, did his signature toe drag, but lost his footing which weakened his shot. The first almost Ovechkin goal was after Marcus Johansson hit Ovechkin in the slot, but his shot hit the post.
Ray Whitney doubled the Stars lead on a terrible Capitals change. Alex Goligoski’s strech pass to Alex Chiasson sprung him, and Ray Whitney alone against Halak. Chaisson made the pass to Whitney, who put the puck into the net around a sprawled Halak. The Stars lead 2-0 9:16 into the second, for all of 34 seconds. That is when Dustin Jeffery’s first goal of the year gave the Stars a 3-0 lead, effectively ending Halak’s night, enter Braden Holtby. The proverbial wheels of the Capitals proverbial wagon are falling off, hard.