Caps comeback falls short, lose third straight in shootout against Blues
Having lost their first two games on their current road trip, the Washington Capitals traveled to St. Louis for their only visit for the season. The Blues had just completed a game the night before but did not appear weary–at least not to begin the game, as they would jump out to a huge lead. The Capitals would mount a furious comeback pushing the game past regulation time but ended up falling in the shootout for their third loss of the trip.,
Washington began the game well with many good looks on net in the opening minutes. Unfortunately, the Blues soon took control and the Capitals quickly found themselves in an 0-3 hole. Brayden Schenn, Pavel Buchnevich and Torey Krug put St. Louis in the lead after just 12 minutes of play. Washington actually held the shot advantage for the period 9-7. However, their inability to convert any chances to score as well as several defensive lapses would put them behind early once again.
DC’s hockey team started the second period with unrivaled determination, controlling the play for the entire period. Alex Ovechkin finally broke through in the sixteenth minute with a lift shot after being found alone in front of the net by Dylan Strome. Less than a minute later, Lars Eller would be called for a tripping penalty. John Carlson would provide a much needed momentum boost with his fourth goal of the season during the kill attempt. Unfortunately, Ryan O’Reilly would answer for the Blues while they still held the power play, making the score 4-2.
In the third period, the Capitals continued their domination, peppering goalie Thomas Greiss with 40 shots in the final 40 minutes of the game. Carlson scored a crucial power play goal at 15:45, finally breaking a recent 0 for 23 drought. At 16:57, Evgeny Kuznetsov weaved a pass through the slot to Conor Sheary who promptly put the puck in the net. Nic Dowd appeared to have scored a go-ahead goal for the visitors about a minute later, but the Toronto office ruled that the puck had been knocked into the net with a high stick.
The game went to the shootout after an intense five minute overtime period that featured several heart-stopping scoring chances at both ends. Kuznetsov put the Caps in the lead in round 1, but O’Reilly would tie it in round 3. Buchnevich put away the decider in round 6 for the Blues.
NOTES–The loss post-regulation allowed the Caps to come away with their only standings point of the 3-game trip. Tonight’s game was the 900th in John Carlson’s career. Ovechkin would add two assists to his goal for a three-point game. The Capitals would finish the game with 51 shots on goal, their best output of the season. Washington comes home Saturday night to face off against the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, start time is scheduled for 7 PM ET.