The Washington Capitals have a problem.
It’s not a massive problem. Not yet anyway.
But it’s a problem they’d like to eradicate before the playoffs get going next month.
“We’re not great starters,” veteran forward Mike Richards told CSN Washington. “I guess we’re good closers, but we have to correct that. It’s not good to play like that. You can see how good we are when we play well, so that’s something that has to be corrected pretty quickly because the season is winding down and then the real hockey starts.”
So far this season, the Caps have allowed the first goal 36 times, compared to just 31 times when they’ve opened the scoring.
The good news is that they’re 20-11-5 in the trail-first category, giving them the highest winning percentage in the NHL in that situation:
But considering they’ve been almost unbeatable (29-2-0) when they score first, well, why play with fire?
The Caps — who’ve gone four games without scoring first (2-1-1) — finish their California road trip Saturday in San Jose before returning home to face Carolina on Tuesday.
Most times scoring first:
Chicago Blackhawks — 45
Boston Bruins — 43
Colorado Avalanche — 40
Florida Panthers — 39
Anaheim Ducks — 38
Detroit Red Wings — 38
Toronto Maple Leafs — 21