When it was reported that Alexander Ovechkin wouldn’t be playing for the Capitals this weekend on their road trip to Ottawa and Montreal, we knew it was going to be a blow to their offense. We weren’t expecting them to get shutout by the NHL’s third worst team heading into their game in Ottawa. But that’s just what happened.
Craig Anderson stopped all 31 shots he saw in earning his second shutout of the season (both with Ottawa) while the Caps were shutout for the tenth time this year. The Caps offensive struggles this year are well known, but in playing without Ovechkin against the more defensively disciplined Senators and with a motivated Anderson in goal, it was a recipe for offensive disaster for Washington. Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots in the loss for the Capitals as they sort through their goaltending logjam.
Erik Condra and Colin Greening scored the goals for Ottawa to provide the Sens with all the offense they’d need on the night while the Caps failed to take advantage of the Flyers loss last night to make up ground in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Making things a bit more uncomfortable is Pittsburgh’s shootout win over New Jersey tonight giving the Penguins as many points as Washington. Luckily for the Caps, they lead their division, but if Pittsburgh continues to win, the Caps may have to worry about dealing with them in competition for the number one seed overall in the East.