Predators seek to extend dominance over Caps

Field Level Media

The Washington Capitals have yet to suffer a regulation defeat through four games. However, they have let some opportunities for victory slip away.

Following two straight overtime losses -- both at home -- the Capitals should be put to the test Thursday night when they look to snap a six-game losing streak at the Nashville Predators.

Washington is 2 for 16 on power-play chances and has just 10 goals, with star Alex Ovechkin totaling two points. The Capitals' most recent game was a 4-3 loss to Dallas on Tuesday, when they twice blew leads and needed a goal from Nicklas Backstrom with 31 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

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It was the second straight game in which the Capitals failed to hold a third-period lead. They were up 2-0 at home to Carolina on Sunday before losing 3-2 in overtime.

While it's important to earn points, leaving some on the ice could prove costly, according to coach Todd Reirden, who is trying to find working combinations that prevent giving up late goals and leads. Washington has been outscored 4-1 in the third period of the past two games.

"When you're not able to get those extra points, they come back to hurt you by the end of the year," Rierden told NHL.com. "It's early in the season, and you are deciding on your personnel that work well in those situations.

"We'll continue to give different players an opportunity. Until we find a formula that works for us."

Not much has worked for Washington while yielding 30 goals during its 0-5-1 stretch against Nashville.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, 1-0-2 with 2.89 goals-against average this season, is 0-2-1 with a 5.21 GAA during that slide against the Predators.

Nashville's Pekka Rinne, who has stopped 55 of 59 shots while winning his first two starts this season, is 5-1-0 with a 2.50 GAA in his career against Washington. Meanwhile, backup Juuse Saros is 3-0-0 with a 2.33 GAA when opposing the Capitals.

Rinne made 33 saves and talented defenseman Roman Josi scored twice as Nashville beat San Jose 5-2 on Tuesday for its second win in three games to open the season. Filip Forsberg notched his third goal for the Predators, who have already scored 13 times on the young campaign.

"We're doing the right things offensively," coach Peter Laviolette, whose club is playing its first four games at home, told the Predators' official website. "(We need to make sure) we take care of the puck as well. We can't always create, but it's certainly nice to see the offense and the goals."

Josi had a seven-game point streak (four goals, five assists) against the Capitals snapped in Nashville's 7-2 home win on Jan. 15, 2019. Teammate Viktor Arvidsson, who has two goals this season, recorded a hat trick in that contest.

Ovechkin has just one goal and one assist in his past seven games against Nashville.

--Field Level Media

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