Four games into the shortened 2013 season, the Washington Capitals have yet to break into the win column. At New Jersey on Friday night, the Caps fell to the Devils 3-2 in overtime. Though still a loss, Washington did earn its first point of the season.
After being down 0-2 through two periods, Washington stormed back with two third-period goals to send the game into extra time.
The Capitals lost in the extra period on a late goal by Ilya Kovalchuk at 4:39 of overtime.
Things started off in a familiar fashion when Stephen Gionta struck for the Devils with a first-period goal. Patrick Elias added a late power-play goal in the second period to give New Jersey a solid two-goal lead that had to have Caps fans feeling nervous.
Washington caught a break in the third period when New Jersey was whistled for five penalties within five minutes. Mike Ribeiro found the back of the net for a power-play goal at 12:45. Mike Green added the game-tying goal just five minutes later.
Despite the positives, the outcome was still the same. Washington failed to take advantage of the given opportunities. Though given an amazing eight power plays, including back-to-back five-on-threes, the Caps connected just once on the advantage.
Though there are still many things to work on, head coach Adam Oates has to have some positive feelings after this one. The defense played much better than in the first three games, and goalie Michal Neuvirth played a solid game, stopping 32 out of 35 goals.
The Capitals still made too many mistakes, giving New Jersey six power-play chances and being out-shot 35-28. There was also a huge mix-up in the defensive zone that led to the game-winning Kovalchuk goal in overtime.
Defenseman Mike Green played his best game of the year, logging 31:10 of ice time and registering a goal and an assist. Alex Ovechkin, who is off to a slow start in 2013, continued that trend on Friday, failing to get a point and only putting two shots on goal.
The Capitals will have another chance to break into the win column on Sunday when the Buffalo Sabres come to town.