Lethargic Caps blanked by Nabakov, Isles 3-0

What a strange game was the Washington Capitals' 3-0 loss to the Islanders on Tuesday night. 

The Caps took three consecutive penalties in the first, which the Islanders followed up by taking three penalties of their own in the second. But Dale Hunter's Caps held firm in taking the last set of three penalties in the third. 


But that was about the most interesting thing to take away from the game from a Caps standpoint. Frankly, in the NHL when you don't score you lose. Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun knows this all to well. 

"We didn't score a goal. Obviously that hurts the most, the veteran said postgame. "You can't win when you don't score."

And bingo. That sums it up for the Caps, who managed just 17 shots on Evgeni Nabokov, who recorded his 51st career shutout in the process. Vokoun, and all his wisdom, stopped 25 of 28 shots in suffering his first loss in his past four starts. 

John Tavares started the scoring for the Isles with his 17th goal of the season on a powerplay. PA Parenteau then notched his first career multi-goal game of his career with goals number 8 and 9 on the year in the second and third period, respectively. 

The loss ended a short three-game win streak for the Caps, who had posted wins against Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Carolina in-a-row. 

Alex Ovechkin, who had been on fire as early as last week, has cooled in his past five games, adding just two points in that span. He did have a team-high four shots on goal Tuesday night. 

Perhaps the Caps were shell-shocked after news wasn't great on the injury front yesterday, as Mike Green had abdominal surgery and will be out another 4-6 weeks. He had been close to a return, and played in two games earlier this month before going back on the shelf. 

Green has played in just 10 games this season due to groin and abdominal injuries. The Caps are still without top pivot Nicklas Backstrom, who is recovering from a concussion suffered two weeks ago on a cheap shot by then-Flames forward Rene Bourque. 

Despite the listless and lethargic play, the Caps have a chance to quickly put it behind them with a road trip to Montreal to face the struggling Canadiens.