Capitals fire head coach Reirden

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The Washington Capitals have fired coach Todd Reirden after a second consecutive first-round exit in the playoffs. General manager Brian MacLellan announced the move Sunday, three days after the Capitals lost to former coach Barry Trotz’s New York Islanders in a five-game series.

Back-to-back early playoff exits were enough to make the Washington Capitals realize they made a mistake.

In the two years since promoting top assistant Todd Reirden instead of giving Stanley Cup-winning coach Barry Trotz a raise, they’ve been knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. On Sunday, the team fired Reirden days after losing a five-game series to Trotz’s New York Islanders and moved toward hiring the seventh coach since Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL.

“There was a continuity that we tried to duplicate with Todd to keep the same structure going forward,” general manager Brian MacLellan told reporters in a video interview. “I think it worked for a while, and as we evolved it started to slip and it wasn’t working. I guess in hindsight you could say we could’ve brought in a more experienced guy, but I thought that was the right decision at the right time for both the players and what we had going on in circumstances.