WASHINGTON, DC- Sunday evening in Washington the Capitals hosted the St Louis Blues who were coming off a successful week of giant slaying. The Blues had dismantled the Colorado Avalanche 7-3 earlier in the week and were looking to take down the high-flying Caps.
The game had billed as Alexander vs. Alexander as the Blues’ Alexander Steen was coming in with 17 goals and Alexander Ovechkin with 15 goals.
The Capitals opened the scoring on just their second shot of the game.
Ovechkin tallied his 16th of the season from Backstrom and Oleksy.
“[Coach Adam Oates] talked about how I have to stay more in the middle of the ice in the offensive zone because lots of pucks go there and I can find the rebound there,” Ovechkin said. “It’s working.”
The goal was scored 7:17 into the game and brought the crowd to life. The Caps scored again on just the fourth shot of the game when Ovechkin put home a rebound off of a Karl Alzner shot. Backstrom had the second assist with the goal coming at 12:32.
“We’re really happy about this one,” said Backstrom. “We knew they’re a great team, and obviously they played last night and had a long flight. We were aware of that and we wanted to come out hard. We were a little lucky; we scored on our chances there at the beginning, and then I think we just followed our game plan from there.”
Just over three minutes later, Mikhail Grabovski scored off of assists from Jason Chimera and Joel Ward.
The second period saw the two teams trade power play goals.
Vladamir Sobotka got the Blues on the board at 5.29 with Martin Erat off for hooking.
“I thought when we made it 3-1, I thought we were really making a comeback,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I thought we really battled. … I really thought when we made it 3-1, we were going to win the hockey game. I thought we had them on their heels. We were really coming on the forecheck and we were really creating a lot of turnovers. They got that fourth goal, and it kind of took the wind out of our sails.”
The Caps got the goal back when john Carlson scored his 5th goal of the season with Sobotka off the ice for hooking.
Both goalies came up big in the period with some stellar saves.
The period ended with Alexander Steen going to the box for cross checking at 19:14
There was no scoring in the third as neither team was able to muster a consistent offensive threat. Braden Holtby stopped 46 of 47 shots on the night for the win and was named the number one star of the game. The 46 saves were a career high.
The Blues Jaroslav Halak was pulled after giving up the third goal in the first period. He yielded the net to Brian Elliot who surrendered one goal on 14 shots. Halak took the loss.
Next up for the Caps is the Pittsburgh Penguins who Washington displayed at the top of the Metropolitan Division with the win. The two teams hook up for the first time this season on Wednesday. The Penguins are reeling and seemingly unable to find the back of the net. They will have a difficult time solving the Caps this week.