One of the unsettling trends plaguing the Capitals through the first month of the season is how suddenly they are surrendering goals after scoring themselves.
Washington has allowed eight goals this season within 2:30 after scoring one of its own, including four that have allowed the opposition to tie the game. Three of the eight have come in less than 60 seconds.
“It’s happened a couple times,” defenseman Steve Oleksy said. “We have to find a way to stay on the gas pedal.”
It happened four times during the Capitals’ recent four-game trip through Western Canada. In their most recent loss, a 3-2 setback against the Canucks on Monday, their 2-1 third-period lead turned into a one-goal deficit in just 3:09.
“I think we know how good we can be, and sometimes we relax a little bit,” Oleksy said. “In this league, every team is so good, you can’t take a second off.”
The Capitals are cognizant of those quick-response goals and how they can instantly swing momentum in the other direction.
“Maybe we get a little too complacent,” defenseman Mike Green said. “We’ll have to address this, but it’s not a big concern; it just kind of takes the wind out of our sail. Momentum is everything in this game.”
Alex Ovechkin will miss Friday’s game against the Flyers with an upper-body injury suffered during the first period of Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Canucks. The 28-year-old hasn’t missed any action since Feb. 22, 2012. In 21 games without Ovechkin throughout his career, Washington is 11-8-2. Coach Adam Oates did not rule out Ovechkin for Saturday’s game against the Panthers.