Originally written on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 11/10/14

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 15: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals warms up before the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Verizon Center on January 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
The Caps gave New York's top line a chance, and they capitalized. (CBS) The Washington Capitals came crashing back to earth on Saturday, getting beat down by the New York Islanders in Uniondale by a 5-2 score.  The Caps tied the game twice after the Isles took the lead – on goals from Joel Ward and Nicklas Backstrom, respectively, - but fell apart after Backstrom’s goal and were outscored by three goals in the final ten minutes of the game.  Phllipp Grubauer made 40 saves on 45 shots during his first NHL start, but his excellent play was not enough as Washington fell to 10-12-1. Washington took themselves out of this game in depressing fashion today.  After tying the game in the third period on a great goal from Backstrom, they took back-to-back double minors, which crushed their momentum and allowed John Tavares and his power play to rack up quality chance after quality chance.  The numbers speak for themselves – Washington has not lost a game this year in which they are perfect on the penalty kill, and giving a great player and a great power play continuous chances while a defenseman short is not a way to win hockey games.  Not the smartest sixty minutes for these boys in white Saturday. A rather good game from Grubauer today during his first NHL start.  The Caps’ newest hot goaltending prospect was clearly nervous early, but settled down brilliantly in the second period to hold his team in the game against pressure from the Isles.  The young German made some big saves in that middle frame and later in the third before the game got out of hand to give the squad a chance, despite the result, and could not be blamed for this loss.  His performance has once again shown that the Capitals have an embarrassment of riches in their organization at the goaltending position, and he deserved better. Mike Ribeiro has been excellent for the Capitals this season; he has been their best player.  But he has now been assessed penalties for yelling at the officials three times this year, and today it may have cost his team a valuable point or two.  His reputation as a person who gets in the grill of officials is well known throughout the League, and plays like his extra minor on top of a high sticking minor only reinforce that and keep the referees from giving him the benefit of the doubt.  You take the good with the bad, but that was a really bad time for the bad. Bad penalties aside – today was a sloppy game from the Caps that they did not deserve to win.  They turned the puck over regularly, their best players – most notably Ribiero and Alex Ovechkin – were not their best players, and they relied on a great performance from Grubauer to keep them in the game.  You knew a game like this was coming, but you also hoped that it wouldn’t be in a game that was a legitimate chance at two points.  Now, a home date with the Rangers looms large for Sunday – DC needs to start picking up points again.  With the way they started, you really can’t afford to give games away, and that’s exactly what the Caps did today. The Capitals are right back in action Sunday afternoon, facing the New York Rangers on NBC’s game of the week at 12:30 PM. Harry Hawkings is a college student credentialed to cover the Capitals for RtR.  Follow him on Twitter here for all your news needs this season.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence does Louisville chant at game

Did Bret Bielema do ‘Horns Down’ gesture?

Devils unveil unique coaching by committee situation

Report: 49ers expect Jim Harbaugh to take Michigan job

Report: Johnny Manziel fined for being late to treatment

Duke Johnson's mother says son will enter NFL Draft

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Starlin Castro questioned following nightclub shooting

Report: Jeff Driskel thinking about transfer to Duke

Browns suspend Josh Gordon for final game of season

Report: Rex Ryan has already cleaned out his office

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Report: Jim Harbaugh to Michigan is done deal

WATCH: Frank Beamer busts a move after bowl win

Bears could clean house after season

Nebraska chancellor booed by Huskers players?

WATCH: Rory McIlroy trolled by 'Sweet Caroline' song

Auburn, Wisconsin players literally ate tons of food

Did Kobe Bryant respond to heckler with the rings count?

Doug Fister bought Starbucks for his Twitter followers

DeMarco Murray dumped over cheating accusations?

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Harbaugh to Michigan is done deal

WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence supports Louisville with chant

Did Bielema do ‘Horns Down’?

WATCH: Beamer busts a move

Bears could clean house after season

Nebraska chancellor booed by players?

Johnny Manziel fined by Browns

Castro questioned after shooting

Rory McIlroy trolled with 'Sweet Caroline'

Browns suspend Josh Gordon

Kobe gives heckler the rings count?

Murray dumped over cheating scandal?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.