- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Capitals put an end to a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Wild on Tuesday. What they didn’t do, however, was put an end to the slew of penalties that contributed to the losing streak in the first place.

While Washington’s result was different Tuesday, it was actually the most highly-penalized game of the last five. The Capitals took seven of the 12 minor penalties in the game, and had to fend off a 5-on-3 situation for 49 seconds.

“It was a lot of penalties,” defenseman Nicklas Backstrom said. “I had one myself that I shouldn’t have taken. We’ve got to be better in that area and we can’t let teams be playing four or five power plays in the third. That’s not going to help.”

Backstrom was called for holding in the third period.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz implied after the game that he felt the referees were a bit quick with the whistle.

“I’ve got to watch what I say,” Trotz said. “Yeah, we took too many. We’ve got to cut that down. But I thought most games that would have been down.”

Over the last five games, including the four-game losing streak and Tuesday’s win, the Capitals have given up six short-handed goals and allowed opponents 26 power play shifts.

“It’s just the way it’s going right now,” center Jay Beagle said. “We’re just, we’ve been a lot of talk about not taking penalties, some, a lot of it was stick penalties that we can avoid — and I took three on the trip, one every game, and two of them felt like kind of cost us the game so obviously I wasn’t happy about that — so it’s just a matter of getting it killed when that does happen, we just have got to focus on that, all of us, together.”

Beagle was penalty-free Tuesday, when seven different Capitals spent time in the box. Tom Wilson was given an instigator penalty, five minutes for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct penalty after going to Brooks Orpik’s defense and getting in a fight with Minnesota’s Ryan White.

Trotz had no problem with that particular penalty.

“We’ll take those all day long., Trotz said. “We thought it was a little bit of a high hit [on Orpik], especially when it’s one of the respected guys of your team, I think that says a lot about Brooks as a leader and what he means to everybody. Anytime that guys step in for each other I think guys really respect that. We’ll kill those off.”

• Nora Princiotti can be reached at nprinciotti@washingtontimes.com.

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