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Mike Green injured in loss, plays 7:11
SAN JOSE, Calif. — History might not matter to these Washington Capitals: 18 years without a victory in San Jose.
“I’m only worried about this one right now,” coach Dale Hunter said. “We didn’t win tonight, and we’ve got to regroup.”
Outskated for much of the night and dominated in their own zone, the Caps suffered their 12th defeat away from home in 19 chances. They’re 3-6-1 in their past 10 road games, and this one snapped a four-game winning streak.
Road woes are certainly nothing new for this team, but the Sharks put on a clinic of how to play aggressive, forechecking hockey and prevented the Caps from putting up much of a fight.
The same kind of mistakes that have plagued Washington throughout its struggles on the road all season resurfaced Saturday night at the Shark Tank.
Poor defensive-zone coverage forced Tomas Vokoun to make some impressive saves, while tiring out just about everyone else. Bad turnovers and ill-timed penalties led to Sharks goals.
“I think we had a couple breakdowns and against a team like that when you have breakdowns, they make you pay,” defenseman Dennis Wideman said. “And tonight, they made us pay.”
But then it all fell apart, a result of the Sharks’ forecheck and the Caps’ self-inflicted errors.
“It’s just a breakdown, and it happens, and it ended up in our net,” Hunter said.
Later on, when Alex Ovechkin went after Brad Winchester for a hit on Alexander Semin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored four-on-four to break the game open.
But another injury during Saturday night’s loss could hurt the Caps, too, as defenseman Mike Green left midway through the second period with tightness in his groin. He logged only 7:11.
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