Photo: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues by a score of 3-2 in overtime on the opening night of the 2019-20 NHL season on Wednesday. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 20 saves in the win.
Capitals’ Lines at Blues
With center Evgeny Kuznetsov serving the first game of a three-game suspension, center Lars Eller played in his spot between forwards T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana. Forward Chandler Stephenson stepped into Eller’s spot on the third-line.
On defense, Jonas Seigenthaler played on the top-pair with Michal Kempny missing the season opener as he’s still recovering from hamstring surgery, which he had on April 2. Martin Fehervary made his NHL debut, playing alongside Radko Gudas who made his Capitals debut after getting acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on June 14.
Forward Sammy Blais buried it to the blocker-side after driving to the cage and getting fed by David Perron from along the half-wall to make it 1-0 Blues 53 seconds into the game.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo riffled a shot from the left dot after getting a feed from defenseman Justin Faulk at the top on the power-play to make it 2-0 at 7:55.
After getting a drop pass from Carlson in the offensive zone, captain Alex Ovechkin toe-dragged around defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to get to the right dot, where he sniped the puck past goaltender Jordan Binnington to cut the Blues’ lead in half with 4:23 left in the period.
The Capitals led 12-9 in hits and 4-3 in blocked shots after the opening period. They won 71% of the draws, went 0-for-1 on the power-play, and had three giveaways while the Blues had four in the first.
The Blues led 7-5 in shots and 6-1 in takeaways after one. They converted on their lone power-play of the period.
Defenseman Dmitry Orlov hammered a shot from outside the right dot, which was deflected by Blues forward Alex Steen, after getting a cross-ice feed from defenseman Nick Jensen off the faceoff to tie the game with 7:32 to go in the second.
The Capitals led 20-15 in shots, including 15-8 in the second, had four giveaways while the Blues had eight, and won 55% of the draws through 40 minutes.
The Blues led 7-4 in blocked shots and takeaways after two.
Each team recorded 19 hits and went 1-for-2 on the power-play in the first two periods.
The Capitals led 30-22 in shots, including 10-7 in the third, 25-23 in hits, had five giveaways while the Blues had 10, and won 51% of the draws. They went 1-for-3 on the man advantage.
The Blues led 12-6 in blocked shots and 9-8 in takeaways. St. Louis converted on one of their two power-play opportunities.
Each team won 50% of the draws.
The game would go to overtime.
Forward Jakub Vrana called his own number 2:51 into overtime, switching sides and beating Binnington to the glove side to cap the comeback.
The Capitals outshot the Blues 4-0 in overtime and 34-22 in the game.
The Capitals next play on Friday night, when they visit the New York Islanders. Action from Nassau Coliseum can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM ET.
By Harrison Brown