The Capitals had a chance to move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference, but instead submitted a pretty poor effort in Toronto. Colin Greenberg and Erik Kondra scored as the Ottawa Senators topped the Capitals 2-0 on the road.
Semyon Varlamov, who got the start at the last minute when Michal Neuvirth got sick, looked shaky in the loss, letting two of 23 shot attempts get past him, and the Capitals' offense could not score on 31 shot attempts.
The Capitals surrendered the second goal in the third period. Karl Alzner failed to clear the puck out of Washington's zone and the attempted clearance was grabbed by Ottawa's Milan Michalek, who hit a nice back-hand pass to Erik Kondra. The American pumped a low shot past Varlamov for his fifth goal of the season.
The Capitals next face Montreal on the road on Saturday night, and will need a better effort than they showed on Friday.
The lone goal came for Ottawa as Colin Greening finished off a shot from Jason Spezza during a scrum with Varlamov within the Washington crease. The goal had to be reviewed by the officials, but it was upheld, and remains the only mark on the scoreboard so far tonight.
The Capitals certainly weren't without their chances in this period though. Anderson stoned Alexander Semin cold on a 1v1 breakaway after the forward emerged from the penalty box. Semin had another chance on a Washington power play later in the half, as did Brooks Laich.
The Capitals haven't finished a single chance yet tonight, but they've got 20 more minutes to keep trying.
Varlamov turned away all 10 shots that he faced in the first period, as the game remains scoreless.
The Capitals peppered Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson with 11 shots on target in the first period, but were unable to beat the American. The game has been fairly even so far, with both teams generating chances. The Capitals will need to play better in the final two periods in order to get the two points they need to tie the Flyers on top of the Eastern Conference.
The Capitals clinched a berth in the NHL Playoffs with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this week, but remain in second place in the conference, two points behind Philadelphia. The Flyers don't play until Saturday night against the New York Islanders, so tonight's home game would be a great chance for the Capitals to temporarily move into a tie at the top of the Eastern Conference.