Caps Shake The Blues 4-3, Ovechkin Notches 16th Career Hat Trick

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The Washington Capitals beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Wednesday night at Verizon Center. The win improved the Capitals record to 12-5-2 for the season. The Capitals return to the ice on Friday when they host the Buffalo Sabres. Puck-drop is 5:00PM.

Lars Eller returned to the lineup after missing the last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. Eller aggravated an existing injury last Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. T.J. Oshie missed his second game after sustaining an upper body injury against Detroit on November 18th. Taylor Chorney was the healthy scratch.

Braden Holtby got the start in net for the Capitals. Carter Hutton got the start between the pipes for the Blues. The lines for tonight’s tilt:

QUICK HITS

  • The power play showed vast improvement in the first period. The Caps showed excellent puck-movement, increased pressure, improved looks and quality scoring chances with Justin Williams on the first unit. Alex Ovechkin would cash-in on the Caps second power play.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov had his best game of the season so far, showing great vision and quickness, with sharp passing and good hustle on the puck.
  • Alex Ovechkin notched his 16th career hat trick. He is just three shy of Peter Bondra’s franchise record.

FIRST PERIOD
The Blues were called for too many men on the ice at 5:32 of the opening frame, giving the Caps the game’s first power play. The Caps had several excellent scoring chances against the league’s second best penalty kill. The Blues were whistled for another penalty giving the caps a 5-on-3 for 23 seconds, but would be unable to convert during the two-man advantage. The reminder of the Capitals 5-on-4 advantage also came up empty.

Nate Schmidt would be called for interference with 8:44 left in the first period, giving the Blues their first power play of the game, but the man-advantage would be erased just 5 seconds into their power play on an interference call on the Blues.

The Capitals would be called for too many men on the ice with 5:48 left in the opening frame, giving the Blues their second power play of the game. The Blues would ring one off the post, but would not capitalize on the man-advantage. The Capitals would return to power play with 3:25 left in the first as a result of a slashing call on the Blues Kyle Brodziak, and the Capitals would finally notch a tally on a blast from Alex Ovechkin from the office with 2:32 left in the period.

The period would end with the Capitals leading 1-0, with the Caps leading in shots on goal, 6-2 for the opening frame.

SECOND PERIOD
Daniel Winnik was called for hooking just 1:56 into the middle frame, giving the Blues their third power play of the game, but the Capitals would squash the Blues man-advantage. The Caps continued to amp up the pressure, with Evgeny Kuznetsov showing a level of play unseen so far this season. Alex Ovechkin would stretch the Capitals lead to 2-0 on another shot from the office at the 10:12 mark of the middle frame.

The Blues Vladimir Taresenko would get one right back at 10:48 to close the gap to 2-1. Holtby would deny the first shot by Taresenko, but Tarasenko would knock home the rebound.

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The period would end with the Capitals holding on to a 2-1 lead through two periods of play. The Capitals led in shots on goal 12-8 for the period and 18-10 through the first two periods of play.

THIRD PERIOD
The Capitals extended their lead to 3-1 on a sweet give and go from Dmitry Orlov to Evgeny Kuznetsov at 6:31 of the final frame.

Alex Ovechkin would notch his third goal of the game on a break-away, coast-to-coast,  wrister, stretching the Capitals lead to 4-1. This was Ovechkin’s 16th career hat trick.

The Blues would add a late power play goal and an empty net goal to close the gape to 4-3.

By  Jon Sorensen

SCENES FROM VERIZON CENTER

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Hat trick babyyyyyy @aleksandrovechkinofficial

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This guy ☝️️ #CapsGiving

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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7 Responses to Caps Shake The Blues 4-3, Ovechkin Notches 16th Career Hat Trick

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