Capitals Head To Minnesota Singing The Blues After 5-1 Defeat In Gateway City

Photo: Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals lost to the St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-1 at Enterprise Center on Friday in their first visit to the Gateway City since the 2019-20 season opener. The defeat kept the Capitals tied with the New York Rangers for second in the Metropolitan Division as both teams have played 35 games and one behind the Carolina Hurricanes (who have three in hand). Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made just 12 saves in the loss and Zach Fucale made six in relief in the third period.

Capitals’ Lines at Blues

Graphic: @Capitals

Right-wing Garnet Hathaway skated on the top-line while Tom Wilson, who played in his 600th career NHL game, was demoted to the second and Daniel Sprong was scooted down to left-wing on the fourth. Right-wing Brett Leason bumped up to the third while center Aliaksei Protas skated on the right side of the fourth-line. Defenseman Martin Fehervary returned after missing the last three games on COVID-19 protocol. As a result, Dmitry Orlov bumped back down to the second pairing and Michal Kempny came out of the lineup.

Scratched: LHD Dennis Cholowski, LHD Matt Irwin, C Connor McMichael

Injured: RW T.J. Oshie (missed second straight game, non-COVID-19 related illness), C Nicklas Backstrom (second, non-COVID-19 related illness), G Vitek Vanecek (first, non-COVID-19 related illness), LW Anthony Mantha (shoulder, 25th, out indefinitely)

First Period

Sprong ripped one to the top corner over goaltender Villie Husso from the right dot after Protas fed him from the low half-wall to get the Capitals on the board first 2:02 in.

Defenseman Torey Krug ripped one off of the post and in from the left dot after getting a feed from center Robert Thomas from out high to tie it at 12:10.

The Capitals won 63% of the draws in the first.

The Blues led 8-4 in hits in addition to 5-4 in blocked shots and takeaways through one.

Each team tallied 10 shots and two giveaways through 20 minutes.

Second Period

Right-wing Pavel Buchnevich ripped one to the top right corner from the slot after getting a feed from defenseman Marco Scandella from down low to give the Blues the lead 9:08 into the period.

Center Oskar Sundqvist tapped in a rebound on the doorstop after Samsonov denied defenseman Justin Faulk’s point shot but left Sundqvist with a wide open net to shoot at with 2:40 left.

Center Ivan Barbashev ripped one past Samsonov’s blocker from the slot after getting a drop feed from Buchnevich to extend the lead with .8 seconds to go.

The Capitals led 19-16 in shots (including 9-6 in the second period), won 51% of the faceoffs, and had three giveaways while the Blues had four in the first 40 minutes.

The Blues led 11-8 in hits and 8-6 in blocked shots through two.

Each team earned six takeaways and did not convert on one power play in the opening two periods.

Third Period

Fucale replaced Samsonov in net after two periods.

Buchnevich wristed one from the right dot in the defensive zone on an empty net to make it 5-1 with 4:52 left.

The Capitals led 27-24 in shots, won 51% of the faceoffs, had four giveaways while the Blues had six, and failed to capitalize on three opportunities on the man advantage.

The Blues led 19-11 in hits, 12-6 in takeaways, 12-8 in blocked shots, and could not take advantage of two power plays.

Each team was credited with eight third-period shots.

Friday marked just the third time this season that the Capitals lost by at least two goals (5-2 loss at Seattle Kraken on November 21 and 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh Penguins on December 10).

Next game: at Minnesota Wild on Saturday (8 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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2 Responses to Capitals Head To Minnesota Singing The Blues After 5-1 Defeat In Gateway City

  1. Anonymous says:

    The best line scored. The rest struggled. We now see why this old team can not win the cup

  2. Anonymous says:

    maybe if we can get healthy but we have too many pieces on ir too much

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