(SportsNetwork.com) – The Washington Capitals will try to return to the win
column when they face one of the NHL’s best clubs in Saturday’s road clash
against the St. Louis Blues.
Washington had won three straight for the first time this season before
getting dealt a 1-0 setback Friday by visiting New Jersey.
Cory Schneider made 30 saves to help the Devils stifle the Capitals offense,
which had compiled 11 goals during its three-game hot streak. Mike Cammalleri
supplied the lone goal for New Jersey.
Braden Holtby played well in defeat, making 27 saves, but it was his giveaway
that led to the Cammalleri tally. Holtby played the puck behind his net and
misfired on his pass. The puck went right to Cammalleri at the bottom of the
right circle and he scored into an open net at 9:38 of the third period.
“We were trying to limit their chances,” said Washington defenseman Karl
Alzner. “They were doing a good job of limiting ours, and that is usually how
those things end up. Either an unlucky bounce, a good play, or something like
The Capitals were shut out for the first time since losing a 1-0 shootout
decision to Tampa Bay in their final game of the 2013-14 season.
Washington has dominated the Blues in recent meetings and swept last season’s
two-game series with a pair of 4-1 victories. The Caps have claimed four of
five and five of the last seven encounters in this matchup and tonight they’ll
aim for a third straight win in St. Louis.
The Blues, however, are off to an 11-4-1 start to the season and have posted
victories in nine of their last 10 games. St. Louis also enters Saturday on a
two-game winning streak after scoring a total of 10 goals in recent victories
over Buffalo and Nashville.
After slamming the lowly Sabres by a 6-1 count on Tuesday, the Blues improved
to 3-1-0 on a five-game homestand with Thursday’s 4-3 decision over the
St. Louis led Nashville 2-0 in the first period, but the clubs were tied at
3-3 after Roman Josi scored for the Preds just four-tenths of a second before
the buzzer sounded to end the second period.
Paul Stastny then broke the tie with 5:54 remaining in the third period and
St. Louis held on for the regulation win, which put the Blues a point ahead of
Nashville for first place in the Central Division. The victory also avenged an
earlier loss to Nashville to begin this homestand.
Stastny won a faceoff and then deflected Kevin Shattenkirk’s shot from the
right point past Pekka Rinne for the go-ahead tally.
T.J. Oshie returned to the lineup after missing the last seven St. Louis games
with a concussion and scored his first goal of the season. Vladimir Tarasenko
and Carl Gunnarsson both registered a goal and an assist and Jake Allen made
22 saves for the Blues.
The Blues boast one of the hottest lines in the league, as the trio of
Tarasenko, Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz all enter tonight riding point
streak of five or more games. Tarasenko has recorded six goals and six assists
during a seven-game point streak, while Lehtera and Schwartz have reached the
scoresheet in six and five straight games, respectively.
Brian Elliott will start in net for the Blues tonight. He is 4-2-0 with a 3.50
goals against average in his career against Washington.