The Washington Capitals lost their fourth straight game and second under new head coach Dale Hunter Thursday in a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. What was more concerning than the loss was the lack of offense. The Caps mustered only 17 shots on goal, tied for their lowest total of the season.
Through two games under Hunter, the Caps have only 36 shots on goal. They had 37 in their last victory, a 4-3 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets last Wednesday. That isn't to say that the Caps didn't have several opportunities to score.
"The players competed and we had some chances," Hunter said. "They're a good team over there but it was a one-one game and they got a chance and they buried it. So that's the way the game goes. We had a few chances around the net and we're getting better at it, it just takes time."
The Caps understand that they're going through a transition period, but scoring two goals in two goals isn't necessarily what they would have hoped for.
"We've got to do a better job of getting pucks to the net. We had a lot of cycle time, but didn't get pucks to the net. They kind of threw everything on the net. That's why they had so many shots. We kind of waited for perfect plays. We've got to throw pucks to the net."
Hunter, however, sees positives in his team's play and senses confidence building on the bench.
"It's tight games now," Hunter said. "If you're getting blown out you start to doubt. But 2-1 and 2-1 we were right in it. That's the game of hockey."