Stars looking to extend Capitals' scoring slump
Posted on: 26 Jan, 2024 at 06:19 PM
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The slumping Washington Capitals will try to salvage the finale of their four-game road trip when they visit the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon.
The Capitals have been outscored 14-5 on the road trip thus far and will be looking to reverse course ahead of their bye week and the All-Star break.
Dallas is heading in the other direction, having won two straight and five of seven after rallying for a 4-3 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
Thomas Harley scored the game-winner 38 seconds into overtime. Fellow defenseman Miro Heiskanen scored the game-tying goal in the third period and Matt Duchene and Craig Smith also scored for the Stars. Jake Oettinger made 18 saves.
"There's a real good composure to our group," Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. "There's never a panic on the bench if we're down in a game. I think there's an underlying confidence in our group that we are going to score at some point and get back in it."
Dallas has seven third-period comeback wins in 2023-24.
Heiskanen tied it 3-3 midway through the third period in his return after missing the previous 10 games with a lower-body injury.
"It might take him a little bit here," Duchene said of Heiskanen's return. "Hopefully he can feel better and better. I thought he looked great. The whole thing is, for however many weeks you're out, it's one game or game-per-week type thing."
The Capitals have lost three straight games in regulation for the first time this season following a 6-2 defeat at Colorado on Wednesday.
Nathan MacKinnon scored four goals and Colorado tallied twice on its power play while Washington went 0-for-5 and gave up a short-handed goal.
"At 5-on-5, we didn't play that poorly tonight," Washington forward Tom Wilson said. "I mean, the first period, where there's a lot of good things happening, I think that adds to the frustration, when you're just ringing them off the bar and pucks aren't going in."
Dylan Strome scored twice, giving him a team-high 18 goals on the season. Charlie Lindgren allowed six goals on 31 shots.
Captain Alex Ovechkin had an assist but has now gone eight games since scoring his eighth goal of the season. Evgeny Kuznetsov has gone 10 games without a goal, and Wilson has one goal in his past 10.
Washington is averaging 2.35 goals per game, third worst in the league, and ranks second to last in total shots on goal.
The Capitals had played one of their better first periods of late before Cole Makar's short-handed goal gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 19:37 of the period.
"Obviously we're having trouble scoring goals," Strome said. "So, when it comes to little details, we've got to find a way to keep those ones out of our net. Like obviously we can't be getting scored on on the power play, and our power play just wasn't good enough tonight."
Roope Hintz scored twice in the third period in the teams' first meeting and the visiting Stars rallied to beat the Capitals 5-4 in a shootout on Dec. 7.
--Field Level Media