The Caps were in desperate need of a sustained, good start on Thursday night in Raleigh for Game 4 of their quarterfinals series with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Gone is the Capitals' chance to clinch with a win in Game 5 at Capital One Arena on Saturday night.
Teuvo Teravainen scored after a line change with the middle of the ice in the attacking zone left wide open by several Caps. Brooks Orpik was blown past and around (it wasn't all his fault) and that was ultimately what the Canes needed.
Orpik was caught out of position on the go-ahead and ultimately game-winning goal, but he was very slow in his recovery to the speed of Teravainen. He flailed his stick around like a fish out of water and offered very little resistance. Jensen had a couple of giveaways (3) with at least one turning into a golden scoring chance. At times, Jensen played OK, but it was far from good enough.
Even though they scored a goal after going 11 straight, the Capitals extra-man play has been a terrible disappointment in the series and really for a good stretch of the year.
Foegele will likely be suspended for Game 5 by the NHL Player Safety department, but he should have received five minutes and a match penalty. It was a clear shot to the back with his stick and not a hockey play in any way. Foegele has three goals in the two games in Raleigh, so if suspended, he would be a huge loss for Carolina, but he deserves a suspension. His unnecessary hit should have resulted in three more minutes of power play time for the Caps late in the third period.
Have the Hurricanes completely solved the Capitals in terms of puck possession and control? The Caps defense was responsible for six of the Caps nine giveaways. That can't keep happening.
Can the Caps sustain enough offense for 60 minutes? They were fairly good in the first, really good in the 2nd and mostly dead in the 3rd until a late Kuznetsov chance. Even when the Caps pulled Braden Holtby, the Canes dominated possession of the puck and nearly scored because the Caps couldn't get it back, despite the extra man.
Who will replace Oshie? The Caps new top line consisted of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie. My sense is you move Tom Wilson back up to the first line and perhaps Connolly goes up to the 2nd group with Kuznetsov and Vrana. Or you could bring Travis Boyd up from the fourth line because he has speed and put Chandler Stephenson back on the fourth.