Game Recap – 12/31/2018 – Nashville Predators v. Washington Capitals

Nashville Predators (22-15-2 46pts) v. Washington Capitals (24-10-3 51pts)


Game Recap:

The Washington Capitals end 2018 with a thud as the Nashville Predators come to town and end their losing skid at 6 games. The Capitals took a 3-1 lead midway through the 2nd period, but then the Predators would score 5 unanswered goals to secure the victory.



Nashville Predators:

Ryan Hartman — Ryan Johansen — Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala — Calle Jarnkrok — Craig Smith

Miikka Salomaki — Nick Bonino — Austin Watson

Zac Rinaldo — Frederick Gaudreau — Rocco Grimaldi

Mattias Ekholm — P.K. Subban

Roman Josi — Ryan Ellis

Dan Hamhuis — Anthony Bitetto

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Scratched: Matt Irwin

Injured: Kyle Turris (lower body), Filip Forsberg (upper body), Colton Sissons (lower body), Yannick Weber (undisclosed)


Washington Capitals:

Alex Ovechkin — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie

Jakub Vrana — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson

Andre Burakovsky — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly

Chandler Stephenson — Travis Boyd — Devante Smith-Pelly

Michal Kempny — John Carlson

Brooks Orpik — Madison Bowey

Jonas Siegenthaler — Dmitry Orlov

Braden Holtby

Pheonix Copley

Scratched: Dmitrij Jaskin, Nic Dowd

Injured: Christian Djoos (leg), Matt Niskanen (upper body)


First Period:

Capitals Goal – 4:33 – Michal Kempny (4) from Nicklas Backstrom (34)

Capitals Penalty – 5:35 – TJ Oshie 2 minutes for High Sticking

Capitals Goal – 8:45 – Jakub Vrana (12) from John Carlson (32) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (27)

Predators Goal – 9:08 – Rocco Grimaldi (2) from Zac Rinaldo (1) and Mattias Ekholm (21)


End of 1st – NAS – 1       WAS – 2

Shots              11                09

Faceoffs         13                12

Hits               08                  06

PP                 0/1                 0/0



This was a good period for the Capitals that saw them strike first. Also after a very strong penalty kill they would strike again to give themselves the 2-0 lead. However, 23 seconds later the Predators would score to cut the Capitals lead by one. This period had really good pace to it, and some really good opportunities for the Capitals.


Need to Do:

The Capitals need to continue putting the pressure on the Predators in their zone, and see if they can force the Predators to take some penalties so the Capitals can get their powerplay unit out on the ice.


Second Period:

Capitals Goal – 8:22 – Chandler Stephenson (5) from Devante Smith-Pelly (4) and Braden Holtby (2)

Predators Goal – 9:57 – Miikka Salomaki (3) from Nick Bonino (9) and Mattia Ekholm (22)

Predators Goal – 11:59 – Ryan Johansen (7) from Roman Josi (22)

Predators Goal – 14:30 – Frederick Gaudreau (3) from Rocco Grimaldi (2) and Craig Smith (10)


End of 2nd – NAS – 4        WAS – 3

Shots               26                 19

Faceoffs          26                 18

Hits                 13                  17

PP                   0/1                  0/0



This period started good for the Capitals by getting the first goal of the period and their 2 goal lead back, but then the Predators would storm back with three unanswered goals to erase the Capitals lead and take one of their own. Another thing that hurt the Capitals this period is the fact that the Predators are dominating in the faceoff circle and also making very difficult for the Capitals to get in the offensive zone with 1-4 defensive system at the neutral zone.


Need to Do:

The Capitals need to do a much better job of forcing the play. After their 3rd goal the Predators just took over and imposed their will onto the Capitals. Also the Capitals need to do a much better job in the faceoff circle, plus the Capitals need to get to the front of the net and create some traffic in front of Pekka Rinne. Also the Capitals need to force the Predators to take a penalty or two to try to stymie the Predators momentum and swing it back their way.


Third Period:

Predators Penalty – 4:57 – Mattias Ekholm 2 minutes Cross Checking

Predators Goal – 10:35 – Ryan Ellis (4) from Ryan Johansen (26) and Viktor Arvidsson (6)

Capitals Penalty – 16:29 – Evgeny Kuznetsov 2 minutes for Interference

Capitals Penalty – 16:29 – Alex Ovechkin 2 minutes for Roughing

Predators PPG – 18:00 – Viktor Arvidsson (9) from Ryan Johansen (27) and Kevin Fiala (14)


End of 3rd – NAS – 4         WAS – 3

Shots              34                   25

Faceoffs        34                    24

Hits               14                     29

PP                 1/3                    0/1



A very rough period for the Capitals. The Predators shut things down and made it very difficult for the Capitals to play in the neutral and offensive zones. The Predators also exposed the Capitals defensively and exploited them to score two more goals for the win.


Next Up:

Washington (24-11-3 51pts) @ St. Louis (15-17-4 34pts)

Nashville (23-15-2 48pts) v. Philadelphia (15-17-5 35pts)

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