The unkillable slump: Sharks beat Caps 7-6 (OT) – Russian Machine Never Breaks

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The unkillable slump: Sharks beat Caps 7-6 (OT) – Russian Machine Never Breaks

The Washington Capitals tried and failed to vanquish their losing streak. They suffered a soul-eradicating overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks to make it six losses in a row. Ovechkin did stuff though. That’s something, I suppose.

Joe Pavelski started the night on a sour note, scoring for the Sharks just 12 seconds in. That stung, but not for long: Alex Ovechkin notched a power-play goal from the far side to even the score. After a lengthy drought, gangly teenager-with-promise Andre Burakovsky got a goal with a gorgeous snipe to give the Caps the lead, which they promptly squandered as Tomas Hertl got an equally pretty snipe on the power play. Before the first period was up, TJ Oshie took a nice pass from Alex Ovechkin to restore the Caps’ lead.

The Sharks brought the score even with a scramble in front of the net after a penalty expired, but Evgeny answered with a wristshot from a sharp angle to put Washington ahead. Alex Ovechkin took a drop pass from Nicklas Backstrom to make it a two-goal lead soon after. Logan Couture cut that lead in half with a [checks notes] three-on-zero rush goal after a Kuznetsov turnover.

In the third period, Alex Ovechkin scored his third hat trick of the season, seemingly locking up the win. Except Hertl tightened it up with another power-play goal, nearly identical to his first one. Then, with one second left in regulation, the Sharks tied it, forcing overtime, where Tomas Hertl completed his own hat trick to win.

CAPS LOSE. Six in a row. It burns.

  • San Jose lost three games in a row heading into Tuesday night. That’s only a quaint slump, but I mention it because San Jose (missing Karlsson and Vlasic) were clearly eager for the win here. We saw that in evidence just twelve ticks in, when a faceoff loss by Backstrom ended up in the back of the Caps net, and we saw it in the literal final second of regulation time.
  • In a night of busted INDIVIDUAL slumps, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first five-on-five goals since the late 80s and Andre Burakovsky scored for the first time since the cambrian explosion. I was particularly happy for Andre, who has had a brutal season and a ton of criticism — even after his two-assist performance in Chicago.
  • With his hat trick, Alex Ovechkin extended his league lead and took sole ownership of the 14th spot in the all-time leaders. His power-play goal (a cleanup on the weak side) and his five-on-five goal (a drop pass from Backstrom) were sorely needed in their respective places. The hat trick goal should have been what was needed to give this team their pride back, but somehow it wasn’t enough.

oh god no

— RMNB (@russianmachine) January 23, 2019

not like this

— RMNB (@russianmachine) January 23, 2019

mister stark

— RMNB (@russianmachine) January 23, 2019

  • Dmitrij Jaskin hasn’t played every night, but he made his 30 games into the season before committing his first penalty — a smart hook to prevent a goal. Only Girard, Schmidt, Kahun, Stephenson, and Nichushkin have played more without a penalty this season. Jaskin was excellent. He should play a lot more.
  • Despite finally finding their scoring touch, the Caps were terrible defensively. Turnovers were plentiful and painful, and the team got thoroughly outworked down low in their own end. It cost them the game.

#JoeBSuitOfTheNight #CapsSharks Do do do do do do 🦈 pic.twitter.com/AvWbP99YLC

— Ian Oland (@ianoland) January 23, 2019

I’m flabbergasted, gobstopped, and mollywhopped. I can’t believe they blew it. I’m just stunned. I don’t have anything clever to say here. This took the wind out of me.

I guess I’ll see you tomorrow night. The Caps wrap up the month in Toronto. I have no idea what will happen.

Full RMNB Coverage of Caps vs Sharks

Headline photo: Patrick Smith

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