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Capitals stunned by last place Blues, allowing four unanswered goals

Capitals stunned by last place Blues, allowing four unanswered goals

A game against the last place St. Louis Blues who were missing sniper Vladimir Tarasenko on Thursday seemed like easy pickings for the Washington Capitals. But that’s why they play the game.

What looked like an easy win for the Caps turned into anything but as the Blues scored four unanswered goals in a 5-2 romp. The only silver lining for Washington was Alex Ovechkin’s first period tally that snapped a six-game goal drought for the Caps' captain.

Here are four reasons Washington lost.

A wicked deflection

St. Louis struck first just four minutes into the game. An innocent looking shot from Robert Bortuzzo from the blue line ended up in the back of the net behind a baffled Braden Holtby. Replay showed Holtby had his glove up and the puck was headed right for it, but forward Robert Thomas just managed to get a piece of it with his stick right in front of Holtby to deflect it in.

A backbreaking goal

Killing a penalty is hard to do. Even if you play perfectly for 1:50, you could still end up giving up a goal and walking away with nothing to show for your efforts. That can be deflating for a team and it seemed to be for Washington on Thursday.

The Caps’ penalty killers looked strong for much of the night including in the second period as Washington clung to a one-goal lead. Tom Wilson had a shorthanded breakaway and another opportunity soon after, but was not able to score. A few seconds later Colton Parayko scored to tie the game.

There were just 14 seconds left on the power play.

That goal seemed to take the wind out of Washington’s sails. Oskar Sundqvist scored just over four minutes later to take the lead late in the third and a game that looked like the Caps had control of was suddenly getting away from them.

After Parayko tied the game at 2, the Blues outscored Washington 3-0.

The third period

Heading into the final frame, the score was only 3-2. The Caps were certainly not out of it by any stretch. But rather than play themselves back into contention, Washington was put on their heels to start the final frame.

Despite trailing by a goal, the Caps were badly outplayed by the Blues. Washington did not get a shot on goal in the third period until about 13 minutes in. By that time, St. Louis had already managed to fire 12 shots on Holtby including two goals.

The power play

There’s no way around it, the Caps’ power play was just plain awful.

The biggest issue the power play has faced of late has been zone entry. It looked like the Blues did their homework and they stacked the blue line as a result to make it difficult for Washington to enter the offensive zone. The tactic certainly proved to be effective as the Caps clearly struggled to get past that blue line to set up their power play.

Frustration from the coaches was evident early. On the team’s very first power play of the game, Washington was whistled for offsides twice in the first 37 seconds. That was all Todd Reirden needed to see and he immediately subbed out the top power play unit, a unit that typically plays about 1:30 of a two-minute power play.

That was in the first few minutes of the game. Things did not get much better over the course of the game.

St. Louis entered Thursday’s game having given up 10 power play goals in their past eight games for a kill rate of just 60-percent. And yet, the Caps’ power play was not able to score on any of their three power play opportunities.


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What is Ovechkin watching during coronavirus hiatus? Reveals 'Deal or No Deal' is go-to show

What is Ovechkin watching during coronavirus hiatus? Reveals 'Deal or No Deal' is go-to show

With the spread of the coronavirus, people have been encouraged to stay at home and practice social distancing. For many, that means watching a lot of TV shows and listening to a lot of music.

Thanks to the technology of the modern age, the choices of TV shows to watch and music to listen to are practically endless, but have you ever thought about what you would watch if you could choose only one show or one album of music?

Alex Ovechkin and other NHL players were posed that very question on Thursday in a teleconference. While the other players gave standard answers like "The Morning Show" and "Tiger King," Ovechkin's answers were a bit more...unexpected.

"My TV show is 'Deal or No Deal,'" he said. He had to pause before saying what his music album would be because the other players immediately began laughing at his answer. "And album, I'll probably take Eminem. Any album he have."

Surprised? You weren't the only one.

"I did not see that coming, Ovi," Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno said, laughing. "I did not see that coming."

Considering how proud Ovechkin is of his Russian heritage and the fact that he has a Russian wife, many probably assumed he would have picked a Russian TV show.

Ovechkin went on to explain, "I'm not a big TV guy as well. I'm just watching that show in the locker room with all the boys. But again, here in this situation, we watching a Russian TV show so it's kind of hard to pronounce the name, but I just picked the TV show what we always watch in the locker room."

So the next time you watch "Deal or No Deal" and are screaming at the contestant to just take the deal and not risk opening another case, know that Ovechkin and the rest of the Caps' locker room are right there with you.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.


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How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

How to watch Capitals vs. Sabres NHL 20 simulation

Monday night was supposed to be another night of Capitals action with a game against the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately due to the NHL’s hold on the season in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the show can not go on as originally planned. 

However, with some minor adjustments to the presentation, there is still a way to keep things going. 

Monday night at 7 p.m. ET the Capitals will be taking the ice to play the Sabres as planned, only this time it will be virtual ice on an NHL 20 simulation. 

In partnership with Monumental Sports Network, NBC Sports Washington will be airing all Wizards and Capitals games in simulated NBA 2K20 and NHL 2K20 games. The format of these games includes watching the simulated versions of Caps games based on the existing schedule with the bonus of commentary from NBCSW’s experts. 

To make things even more fun, in between the simulation and the re-air of the simulation, there is a chance to relive a classic Caps game. So don’t forget to stick around and re-watch Dowd and the Capitals dominate the Penguins from earlier this season. 

Here's everything you need to know to watch. 

When: Monday, March 30 at 7 p.m. ET


  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms
  • Monumental Sports Network via its website or via any of its available apps on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox.

Broadcast schedule: 

7:00 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (P)
8:00 PM: NHL Classics: Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins (R) 
10:30 PM: NHL 20 Simulation: Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres (R)

Starting lineups: 

Capitals: TBD
Sabres: TBD

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.