RUSSELL: Caps get rocked in Raleigh

Chris Russell
April 15, 2019 - 10:39 pm
Categories: 

Everyone should have seen this coming. The Capitals were due. The Hurricanes were beyond due. After all, it's been 10 years since they last won a Stanley Cup Playoff game. 

What nobody really saw coming was a complete annihilation of the Stanley Cup champs, as Carolina won 5-0 and the Caps now lead the series 2-1. Washington was out-shot 45-18. 

Game 4 is not until Thursday night in Raleigh, N.C., so the Caps have plenty of time to figure out what went wrong and what hit them. 

After all, the only thing they hit after the first few minutes of the game was Alex Ovechkin hammering Carolina's young stud Andrei Svechnikov with a couple of vicious right hand blows and knocking the former No. 2 overall pick out for the game. 

Washington certainly did not hit the net after the first 12 minutes of the opening period. The Caps went over 23 minutes without a shot on goal from the 7:51 mark of the first until Ovechkin's weak backhander with 4:47 left in the middle frame. 

Todd Reirden's group went over two full periods of game time with just two shots on goal total. 

After two wins to start this series, we have honored the five best Capitals with our "5 Stars" feature. After a loss, especially a bad one, we have to hand out '5 Duds," or the five players that most contributed to the loss. 

1. Christian Djoos: His turnover led to the Hurricanes' first goal by Warren Foegele. He had another turnover that led to a quality scoring chance in the third. YUK. 

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov: He gave the Caps very little after being good defensively against Sebastian Aho's line in the first two games. He appeared to be disengaged at times. Kuzy finished with two shots after making the game-winning assist on Brooks Orpik's goal to secure Game 2. 

3. Andre Burakovsky: After a strong start, he was a minus-two on the night with only one shot. The Caps need more out of No. 65. He only played 6:16. 

4. Alex Ovechkin: Hate to do this because he was simply terrific in Game 2 and scored a power play goal in Game 1, but Ovechkin's fight with Svechnikov ignited the eye of the hurricane on Monday night. It was 1-0 when Ovechkin went to the box, and the Caps were never the same. And soon after the fight, the Caps' struggling power play had to play without their best player. 

It was a fun fight to watch if you like fighting and domination, but it was the last time the Caps dominated anything, and Ovechkin being in the box for five minutes was a recipe for doom. 

The Caps should have received a boost, and instead it was a short-handed Hurricanes team that seized the night. Ovechkin also had a bad turnover in front of his net that led to a scoring chance. 

5. Special Teams: The Caps allowed two power play goals, both to Dougie Hamilton on blasts from the point or just inside. 

The power play was once again lifeless, going 0-4, and they are now scoreless in their last 10 opportunities with the extra man. 

Carolina is playing much tighter on the penalty kill, and the Caps either don't get shots off or they miss the net. 

For Game 4 , the well-rested Caps will need to fore-check better, stay out of the penalty box and be much more secure with their passes and puck possession, if they are to have a 3-1 lead heading back to Washington.

Follow Chris Russell on Twitter.