Takeaways: Luck Not On Capitals’ Side In Sloppy Loss To Blues
The Washington Capitals couldn’t get much going and struggled at both ends in a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Here are all the takeaways.
WASHINGTON — Donning St. Patrick's Day jerseys in warmups, the Washington Capitals came into Friday's game wanting luck to be on their side as they tried to carry over the momentum from Wednesday's big win into Friday's tilt against the St. Louis Blues. However, things went south fast, and it led to another rough night where the team failed to string together multiple wins in a row.
Washington failed to find twine, and a sloppy game of turnovers, poor coverage and a too-late push led to a 5-2 loss to the Blues.
Here are all the takeaways from the defeat as the Capitals remain five points out of playoff position:
Washington Capitals Again Get Off To Bad Start, Sandin-TVR Struggles Continue
Despite coming out of the gate with some jump, the Capitals were again plagued by odd-man rushes, and one led to a picture-perfect passing play that Sammy Blais converted on just 1:04 minutes into action to make it 1-0 for the Blues. It marked the fourth straight game that Washington surrendered the first goal of the game within the first 5:18 minutes of play.
Down by one entering the second, the Capitals returned looking to capitalize on their chances and got up to 21 shots on the night, but more giveaways and breaks led to them being outscored 3-0 in the middle frame. Jordan Kyrou scored on a breakaway, Kasperi Kapanen struck on a slapshot from the circle and Blais picked up his second goal of the night on a strange play that at first went undetected.
While Darcy Kuemper surrendered four goals on 18 shots through 40 minutes, the defense left him out to dry on a couple of those. Rasmus Sandin and Trevor van Riemsdyk's struggles also continued on the top pairing; Sandin and TVR were on the ice for all four Sabres goals against, and vs. the Blues, they were on the ice for three of the five, while Sandin himself was on for four of those five.
Washington Capitals Make Late Push Too Little, Too Late After Failing To Find Offense Early
Not only did Washington struggle in its own end, but the team struggled to generate a lot of high-quality chances or sustain offensive zone time. The Capitals lost a lot of neutral zone battles and had quite a few turnovers, and they also failed to make tape-to-tape passes or get a lot going.
In the third period, the pressure picked up. Martin Fehervary got the team's first goal of the game early frame, sniping a shot past Joel Hofer off a nice feed from Alex Alexeyev to make it a 4-1 game. Then, in the dying minutes of regulation, Nicklas Backstrom scored on the power play to make it a 4-2 game.
However, the rally came too late, and it wasn't enough while the Blues also halted the comeback with a late empty-netter.
Additional Ice Chips
– Sonny Milano got an assist and has now hit the 30-point mark. He has points in four of his last five games.
– Alex Alexeyev has assists in back-to-back games.
– Rasmus Sandin now has 10 points in seven games to start his Capitals tenure after picking up an assist on Backstrom's PPG.
– Alex Ovechkin is on a three-game point streak and has points in five of his last six with a helper on Backstrom's tally.