WASHINGTON – Just 11 days after the Capitals suffered an ugly loss in St. Louis, they fell victim to the Blues yet again, this time in Washington. The Caps fell Monday to the Blues 4-1 as St. Louis took control thanks to a three-goal second period and never looked back.
This marks the first three-game win streak all season for the Blues. Washington, meanwhile, will need to recover quickly with as they have a Tuesday date in Nashville against the Predators.
Here are five reasons Washington lost on Monday.
Five minutes in the second period
The Caps actually held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first. Alex Ovechkin had scored from the office on the power play so Washington must have been feeling pretty good heading into the middle frame. The game quickly turned, however, as the Blues tallied three goals over the course of an early five-minute stretch that completely turned the game on its head.
At 3:18 into the period, Ivan Barbashev made it 1-1. Less than two minutes later, Vince Dunn gave St. Louis the lead. At the eight minute mark, David Perron delivered the knockout punch to make it 3-1.
From that point on the Blue were in complete control and had a number of high-danger opportunities. The score could easily have been a lot worse than 3-1 by the end of the second.
A rough shift for John Carlson
St. Louis’ first goal came on a shift Carlson would like to forget. With the puck on his stick, he carried the puck into the neutral zone up the right side. Facing no pressure, he attempted a cross-ice stretch pass that resulted in a neutral zone turnover. As the team recovered and dropped back to set up the defense, Carlson went behind the net to retrieve the puck and completely whiffed on it. The puck ended up on the stick of Ivan Barbashev who jammed it through a very loose reverse-VH that Pheonix Copley was playing against the post.
A crazy bounce
The Blues took a 2-1 lead thanks to a Vince Dunn goal, but he was not the last player to touch that puck. In fact, he has not one of the last two players to touch the puck.
Dmitry Orlov managed to get his stick in front of Dunn just as he shot the puck for the block. The puck was headed far wide of the net, but then took a second deflection off the gut of Nicklas Backstrom knocked on net and through Copley.
Heading in the wrong direction
The Caps got caught puck watching on the third goal. Both Orlov and Matt Niskanen collapsed on the left corner to pressure Ryan O’Reilly who chipped the puck back. Everyone in red evidently thought the puck was headed out of the zone. Not only were four of Washington’s players caught on the left side of the ice, all five of the team’s players was skating forward. When Dunn got the puck, he fired a quick cross-ice backhander that connected with David Perron.
While everyone was headed out of the zone, Perron was headed in the opposite direction and easily got behind the defense thanks to the pass from Dunn. After a quick deke, he roofed a backhander past Copley for the knockout punch.
A delay of game
A two-goal deficit heading into the third period against St. Louis, a team Ovechkin has feasted on over the years, hardly seems insurmountable. It proved to be, however, when Ovechkin was called midway through the third for delay of game as he sent the puck out of the ice. Less than one minute later, Vladimir Tarasenko took advantage as he netted the power play goal. That goal erased any possible doubt as to the game's outcome.
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