Capitals 4, Predators 1: Washington Stars Smite Preds

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: Jack Hillen #38 of the Nashville Predators battles for the puck against Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals and Dmitry Orlov #81 of the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on December 20, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The Preds have staged some stunning comebacks in recent weeks, but what makes those games so exciting is the fact that most of the time when you fall behind early, you stay there.

Washington's stars were the story tonight as the Nashville Predators' 5-game winning streak came to an end with a 4-1 defeat. Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, and Alexander Semin each scored to get the Caps out to the lead, and Troy Brouwer added a late power play marker to secure the win. Sergei Kostitsyn got the lone score for the Preds.

Video highlights and reaction after the jump...

First the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):

I'm participating in the 102.5 The Game post-game show, so I only have a few random observations:

  • Boy, the AHL callups certainly got off to a lousy start. Blum had some bad turnovers and got caught flat-footed, swiping at the puck rather than sticking with Ovechkin on the opening goal. Then, Geoffrion took a totally unnecessary penalty by dropping the gloves and trying to go with Hendricks.
  • There was some good conversation in the Game Thread about games like tonight providing a sneak preview of what life might be like without either Shea Weber or Ryan Suter. They were split up for most of this contest, and you could see how the team generally struggled to get coherent offensive hockey rolling without them on the ice together.
  • The Caps really slammed on the brakes in the 2nd period, allowing the Preds to get some momentum in 5-on-5, and taking three unnecessary penalties to let the Nashville power play go to work.
  • I've been as critical of Sergei Kostitsyn as anyone, so give him credit for throwing the puck to the net when the opportunity struck to make it 2-1 early in the 3rd. It sure looked to me like Leggy tipped it, but no matter.
  • That 3rd Washington goal by Semin was a beauty, though, wasn't it? He didn't have a ton of space to wind up, but handcuffed Lindback with a nasty wrister into the corner.
  • I don't put much blame at all on Lindback for the goals against, he wasn't great but he wasn't particularly bad, either, and early on he weathered a brutal attack by the Caps that could have made this game a blowout in the first period.

NHL Box Score - Game Summary - Event Summary - Corsi Numbers

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