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Capitals vs. Blues Recap: Caps Lose In Shootout After Dominant Game

The Caps played a great game but the Blues goaltender stood on his head and the Caps couldn’t get the bounces

Washington Capitals v St Louis Blues Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

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It’s a battle for the ages, who will win? The tired but super hot St. Louis Blues coming off their fourth straight win last night or the super injured Washington Capitals coming in off some fresh legs. Fight!

McMichael drew back into the lineup, Protas was promoted to the top line, and Lindgren got the start against his old team.

Here’s tonight’s plus/minus:

Plus: It was easy to stick a fork in the Caps after that horrific first period... but there was plenty of hockey left, and the Caps needed almost every minute to orchestrate a comeback, erasing 3-1 and 4-2 deficits to force overtime.

Minus: For a coach that loves defensive play, Laviolette put Gustafsson-Carlson together for that last handful of games and they were terrible. Why he kept them together so long is a head scratcher. They were on ice for both the Blues first two goals tonight, bringing their total 5v5 goals to three for and seven goals against in their short time together. I don’t think it was a coincidence when Laviolette finally separated them the Caps started to play better.

A few more notes on the game:

  • Ovechkin almost started the party with a pretty toe drag but it ripped it right into a defensemen. Been the story for the Captain lately.
  • Caps, yet again, got off to a really good start to the game, being the much better team but the opponent just goes down and scores on their first chance. It’s been happening a lot lately. It’s hard to blame them too much, they are just missing too much scoring ability in their lineup.
  • Just a couple minutes later Pavel Buchenvich made a pretty play scoring his first goal in ten games, because of course, to give the Blues a 0-2 lead.
  • Even when the Caps get a break they don’t get a break. A Blue’s defender and goalie got their signals mixed leaving a glorious, easy scoring chance for Sheary but somehow the puck went through the goalie’s legs, hit the post, and stayed out. It’s just been that way for the Caps lately.
  • It doesn’t stop there. Strome had a great scoring chance with the goalie out of position but a diving defensemen blocked the shot. Then Strome took a “slashing” penalty (I say that because no one’s stick broke) and Krug scored on the power play giving the Blue a 0-3 lead.
  • Here’s a list of saves Greiss, a not-good goalie, came up with in the 2nd period:
  1. a huge glove save on Carlson on a 2on1
  2. a great tip in the slot
  3. Protas point blank stop from the top of the blue
  4. a Hathaway push to the net
  5. a Mantha stop on a 2on1
  • Finally Caps got one past Greiss after a nice passing play between Strome and Ovechkin cutting the Caps deficit 1-3.
  • Eller took a penalty he didn’t need to shortly after. It was a crucial moment in the game that the Caps could been buried, but Carlson came to the rescue, getting a short handed goal bringing the Caps to within one goal of the blues.
  • But the good vibes didn’t last long. Just as the penalty kill ended O’Reilly, who has all of ONE goal against the Caps in his career, made an unbelievable no look backhand that sniped top corner giving the Blue another two goal lead.
  • With seven minutes the Capitals drew a power play and it was time for the power play to finally break through after such a long drought. They even pulled the goalie with five minutes left to give them a chance. Greiss came up with a huge save on Johansson but did not on a slot rocket from Carlson to bring the Caps within one.
  • Caps tied it after a pretty play by Kuznetsov who deked between two players and sent a pass to Sheary who ripped it in.
  • Dowd scored with a little more than two minutes to go but the refs determined it was batted in with a high stick so it didn’t count. It probably could have been washed out for goalie interference as well.
  • Overtime was fun with great chances on both side. In the shootout the Caps had a couple chances to put it away but couldn’t and the Blues won. Nothing sums up the Caps right now that Mantha’s shootout attempt where if he scored the Caps would have won but his stick broke.

Up Next: Caps finally come to the end of a brutal stretch games that started end of October when they play the Colorado Avalanche this Saturday at 7PM.