Another loss for the Capitals, another opportunity to move up into the Eastern Conference playoff picture squandered. Monday night the defeat came in spectacular fashion as Washington never truly contended for the two points up for grabs en route to a 5-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

“Embarassing effort, right from the start,” said a noticeably steamed Troy Brouwer. “We weren’t ready to play. Gave up chances, gave the puck away didn’t get the puck in deep just all around embarrassing.

“They’re a hot team right now,” Brouwer continued, “We can’t let teams like that get a good start on us especially when we need these points they’re so crucial. Florida lost [Sunday], we were looking good, we were excited about today and then we come out and just flat, just terrible.”

It was a contest riddled with mistakes, turnovers and sloppy overall play, which you can read more in the game story for Tuesday’s paper. A concern in addition to the poor play, though, is that Alex Ovechkin may have been injured in the second period against the Hurricanes.

Both Coach Dale Hunter and Ovechkin attributed the captain’s absence in the second period to a skate problem, but the star left wing was limping when he emerged from a private area of the dressing room to speak with reporters.

“Just a skate,” Ovechkin said.

Hunter added: “It was equipment issues there, he was back in the third.”

Alex Ovechkin has the puck poked away by Carolina’s Brandon Sutter, with the Hurricanes’ Tim Gleason nearby in the first quarter on Monday night. (Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press)

It’s unclear when exactly Ovechkin might have suffered an injury. Based on video replay of the contest, it may have been when Ovechkin absorbed a hip check from Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen roughly eight minutes into the second period. The hit appeared to cause some strain on Ovechkin’s left leg upon impact.

CSN Washington’s broadcast of the game caught Ovechkin bent over on the bench, his head on the boards hidden in his hands, just eight seconds after his last shift concluded. (H/T to Japers’ Rink for the screen shot) Asked after the game what was going through his mind at that point, Ovechkin didn’t share much: “Nothing, I was just like very mad about myself.”

All told, Ovechkin finished with 15:43 in ice time – his second lowest total of the season