Capitals lose to Nashville, 4-3, in shootout
- Nashville Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok (19), of Sweden, has his shot blocked by Washington Capitals goalie Jaroslav Halak (41), of Czech Republic, as defenseman Patrick Wey (56) defends during the first period. (Photo: Associated Press)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Craig Smith scored the only goal in the shootout to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.
Patric Hornqvist scored two goals and Shea Weber added another for Nashville, which has won two of three.
Troy Brouwer scored twice and Nicklas Backstrom had the other goal for Washington. The Capitals have lost three straight.
Nashville goaltender Carter Hutton had 23 saves, and then denied all three Washington shooters in the tiebreaker.
Weber gave Nashville a 3-2 lead at 8:23 of the third.
Matt Cullen carried the puck into the Washington zone on the right side. Just across the blue line, he left a drop pass for Mike Fisher, who found Weber at the top of the right circle. The captain then ripped a slap shot high to the stick side of Capitals goaltender Jaroslav Halak for his team-leading 21st goal of the season.
Washington then used a power play to tie the game again with 7:40 to go. Backstrom's snap shot from above the right circle beat Hutton for his 14th of the season.
The Capitals went 2 for 4 with the man advantage. They began the day with the league's best power play, clicking at a success rate of 23.8 percent.
Nashville did not get a power play in the game.
Brouwer scored the game's first goal at 4:17 of the opening period.
From the left corner, Backstrom found Mike Green in the right circle. Green made a quick backdoor pass to Brouwer, who beat Hutton with a one-timer.
Hornqvist responded at 5:55 of the first.
Fisher won a faceoff at the right dot inside the Washington zone back to Weber, where his slap shot was stopped by Halak. On the left side, Hornqvist grabbed the rebound and put it past a fallen Halak for his 100th career NHL goal.
Hornqvist struck again at 18:30 of the first, when a Backstrom turnover at the Washington blue line sent him in on a breakaway. From in close, Hornqvist beat Halak just under the crossbar for his 17th of the season.
Just seconds before Hornqvist's goal, a sliding Weber knocked the puck away from Alex Ovechkin, who was skating down the right side of the Nashville zone, denying the league's leading scorer of a solid chance.
NOTES: Green played in his 500th career NHL game. He is the 10th defenseman in Capitals history to reach that mark with the team. ... Brouwer has points in his last three games. ... Fisher has six points in his last six games.