Carter Hutton frustrated the Caps for much of the night, but it was the Caps who emerged victorious on Monday in a 2-1 shootout win.
How it happened: Hutton had a strong night in net for St. Louis turning aside 37 of the Caps' 38 shots including 12 in the opening 10 minutes of the game. The Capitals finally managed to get a goal past Hutton in the third period as Paul Carey deflected a shot from Zach Sill up into the top shelf and went on to win in the shootout thanks to goals from T.J. Oshie (of course) and Andre Burakovsky.
What it means: With the win, the Caps are now 2-1-1 in the preseason. They used their best lineup of the preseason thus far with several regulars back in the lineup. It was a good night to rebuild chemistry and experiment with players in new roles for the upcoming season.
The boys are back in town: After two rounds of cuts and with all their players back from the World Cup of Hockey, the Caps put out the best lineup we have seen to this point in the preseason. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Oshie all made their preseason debuts. The Caps even had both of their goalies back with Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer both getting into the game.
The battle for 14: Zach Sanford and Nathan Walker look like the front runners in the competition for the 14th forward position at the start of the regular season and both played on Monday. Sanford played rigth wing on a line with Andre Burakovsky and Lars Eller. Apart from some good work on the forecheck, Sanford hesitant and was clearly still adjusting to the move to wing. Walker continued buzzing around the ice agitating every opponent he could find. While he offers little in the way of offense to the Caps, he looks like a perfect fit for a fourth-line role.
Grubauer returns: Grubauer made his preseason return for the Caps in the second period as he took over for Holtby with just over eight minutes remaining in the second period. Like Holtby, Grubauer as the third goalie on his World Cup team's depth chart and did not get any playing time in the tournament. Also like Holtby, Grubauer showed no signs of rust despite his late arrival to Caps training camp. Grubauer was not tested much, but was strong when he was as he saved all seven of the shots he faced. He also made three saves in the shootout against four shooters.
Look ahead: These two teams will meet again on Wednesday in the second leg of a home-and-home. That game, however, will not be in St. Louis, but rather will be played in the Sprint Center in Kansas City.