Capitals Vs. Sharks: Caps Swim With Fishes, Lose 3-2 To Sharks

The Caps couldn't stay afloat against the Sharks and sunk to a 3-2 defeat Thursday to remain winless in San Jose since 1993.

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Capitals Vs. Sharks: Caps Remain Winless In San Jose Since 1993, Fall 3-2 To Sharks

After an physically and emotionally draining game Wednesday, the Washington Capitals, already fatigued from their recent road trip, entered the "Shark Tank" in San Jose looking to tread water. They ended up swimming with the fishes.

In almost identical fashion to last week's 2-0 loss, the Caps gave up two quick goals to the Sharks in the third period as they fell 3-2. The Caps have not won in San Jose since 1993, dropping 11 straight.

The Capitals and Michal Neuvirth (25 saves) gave up a shorthanded goal to Joe Pavelski in the first period. an even-strength to Ryan Clowe in the third period and a power play goal to Dany Heatley just six minutes later. Last week, Neuvirth surrendered two goals in less than three minutes to break a scoreless tie. Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal of his own 22 seconds after Pavelski's shorthanded tally to tie the game, which remained tied through the second period.

Clowe's goal at 4:27 gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Kyle Wellwood shot the puck from the point and it hit someone in front. The puck then bounced right onto Clowe's stick blade and he backhanded it past Neuvirth for his 15th goal of the season.

As the Sharks continued to pressure the Caps in the zone, John Erskine interfered with Scott Nichol and was sent to the penalty box. In just 22 seconds, the Sharks padded their lead. Dan Boyle took a backhanded cross-ice pass at the point, deked around the defender and fired a wrist shot that Heatley got his stick on for the deflection goal.

Nicklas Backstrom kept the Caps in the game with a timely goal at 18:05. Backstrom drove into the zone and benefited from Douglas Murray tripping over himself and fired his 15th goal of the season past Niemi. The Caps would try to pull Neuvirth in favor of an extra attacker, but the Sharks' defensive pressure kept the Caps from entering the offensive zone.

Despite last night's 7-6 win, the Caps are now 1-2-0 on their road trip with two more games away from Verizon Center upcoming. Washington has the next two days off before facing the Buffalo Sabres Sunday afternoon.

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Capitals Vs. Sharks: Rare Quiet Period For Caps Leads To 1-1 Tie After Two Periods

Considering the large amounts of goals that have been scored by or against the Washington Capitals recently, a quiet period seems a bit weird.

Regardless, the Caps and Sharks remain tied at 1-1 after 40 minutes.

There were 17 combined shots fired in the second period, but none beat either Michal Neuvirth or Antti Niemi. There were also no penalties, so no power plays were seen. The Caps hold a 18-14 shot advantage.

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Capitals Vs. Sharks: Caps, Sharks Trade Goals Within 22 Seconds, Game Tied 1-1 After First Period

An old adage says that the best way to fend off a shark is punching it in the nose. Unfortunately, the San Jose Sharks struck the first blow, but Alex Ovechkin answered back,

Ovechkin's power play goal came just 22 seconds after Joe Pavelski's shorthanded tally as the Caps and Sharks are tied at 1-1 after 20 minutes.

A chippy first period that featured 17 total hits took a more offensive turn within the last two minutes. With Ben Eager in the penalty box for tripping Ovechkin, the Caps won the draw in the offensive zone. The puck was sent out to John Carlson on the right point, but he couldn't corral the puck. Patrick Marleau got to the puck first and raced down the boards, finding Pavelski on a 2-on-1 for a shorthanded goal at 18:49. It was Pavelski's first first period goal of the season.

Ovechkin, who tied Wednesday's game with the Anaheim Ducks at 1-1, did the same thing just 22 seconds later. While still on the power play, crisp movement of the puck led to Ovechkin being open in the high slot. He would rip the puck past Antti Niemi for his 23rd goal of the season.

Washington holds a 9-6 shot advantage.

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Capitals Vs. Sharks: Starting Lineup

Via Washington Post, below is tonight's starting lineup for the Washington Capitals as they prepare to face off against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion.

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Johansson-Semin
Chimera-Perreault-Bradley
Steckel-Gordon-Hendricks

Defense
Alzner-Carlson
Schultz-Hannan
Erskine-Sloan

Goal
Neuvirth
Varlamov

Scratches: Mike Green (inner-ear trauma), D.J. King and Patrick McNeill.

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Capitals Vs. Sharks: Caps Enter Shark Tank With Thirst For Revenge

The Washington Capitals went Duck hunting Wednesday against Anaheim in a game that saw the high-flying Caps make a return. On Thursday, the Caps will head back to Earth and dive into the "Shark Tank" against San Jose looking for revenge.

A crazy 7-6 win against the Ducks saw the return of Washington's potent offense, highlighted by Alexander Semin's fourth hat trick of the season. Eleven different Caps registered points and four Caps other than Semin scored. Semin's three goals were his first since November 28.

Michal Neuvirth will also return to the net Thursday after entering Wednesday's game in relief of Semyon Varlamov, who surrendered three goals on nine shots in the first period. Neuvirth fared slightly better, allowing three goals on 12 shots.

Something, or more appropriately, someone, that didn't return Wednesday was Mike Green. Green has sat out of the first two games of this week's five-game road trip with "inner ear trauma" suffered from taking a puck to the face February 6. Green met with a specialist in California Wednesday and head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Green's tests went well.

The Capitals will be looking to exact revenge on the Sharks, who defeated them 2-0 last Tuesday at Verizon Center. Yet, the HP Pavilion, known by locals as the "Shark Tank," has not been a friendly place for Washington. The Caps are 0-9-1 in their last 10 trips to San Jose and have not won there since October 1993. In fact, as Katie Carrera points out, Arturs Irbe, Capitals goaltending coach, was the losing goalie of record in that contest.

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