Goals just ‘aren’t coming easy’ for the Capitals right now

Getty
11 Comments

The Washington Capitals remain one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL. They currently sit third in that category, averaging 3.21 goals-for per game.

But for a noticeably lengthy stretch now, the scoring has slowed. So, too, have the Capitals in the standings.

A recent three-game losing streak, following a loss to the L.A. Kings on Saturday, has allowed the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets to get within reach of Washington for top spot in the Metropolitan Division — not to mention the chance of winning the Presidents’ Trophy.

The Capitals have been held to two goals or less in seven of their last eight games. They have now lost three consecutive games by the score of 4-2 and only manufactured 19 shots on goal versus the Kings — facts not lost on the coach Barry Trotz.

“We’re going to have to score more than two goals. We haven’t scored too much lately,” he said following the loss in L.A.

“Just not coming easy. If they go in the net, we’re talking about four (goals) but we didn’t, so. You’ve got to fight through it. We’ve got to get to the net, we’ve got to shoot.”

Their power play, eighth best in the league right now, has scored only four times in 26 opportunities over this stretch. Alex Ovechkin, the most prolific and electrifying scorer of his era since coming into the league, has gone cold, without a goal in nine straight games. Nicklas Backstrom, a point per game player this season, has four points in his last eight games, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not up to his typical standard of production.

That said, with a lineup this stacked with talent, it’s difficult to see this slump perpetuating. They visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, looking to end their losing streak and break out offensively.

Related: Kevin Shattenkirk suspended two games for charging