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Why did the Caps recall Zach Sanford? Barry Trotz explained after practice.

Why did the Caps recall Zach Sanford? Barry Trotz explained after practice.

Caps prospect Zach Sanford is back in D.C., and he’ll be here through the weekend.

Whether he gets into a game, though, depends on the health of “a couple” of his banged up teammates in Washington, Coach Barry Trotz said. The Caps host the Red Wings on Thursday and the Ducks on Saturday before hitting the five-day bye week.

“For us, we want to make sure that we get through the next two games—we got a couple of guys that have just little nicks,” Trotz said after Wednesday’s practice.  

“And Hershey’s not playing,” the coach continued, “so we wanted to get a look at him, sit down and talk, see where he is. He’s gone from a college schedule to [a pro schedule]. So we brought him back up to practice with us. It was a good time for it.”

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Sanford was recalled prior to the Caps’ 5-0 win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday, so the ailing players to which Trotz referred were preseumably nicked up prior to that game.

Sanford, meanwhile, arrived in the first period of the Carolina game and was the first skater on the ice for Wednesday’s practice in Arlington.

“It’s good to be back, get back out here, see the pace and how they’ve been doing,” Sanford said. “They’re on a roll here and it’s the same way in practice.”

Although Sanford is focused on helping the Bears in their playoff push, he’s kept a close eye on the Caps’ recent run of ridiculous success.

“It’s crazy,” Sanford said. “They had a little bit of struggle in the beginning of the year and now every game seems like it’s 5-1 or 6-0. It’s good to see for the organization.”

Sanford has a goal, an assist and six shots on net in his last four games with the Bears.

“I’m working on a lot of the little things [like] my strength and my skating,” he said. “So far down there, it’s gone pretty well.”

Even if Sanford doesn’t play in a game and all he gets in are two practices and a couple of morning skates, the 22-year-old says there’s plenty to be gained from the call-up.

“There’s a lot to gain,” he said. “Seeing the older guys who have been doing it for so long, maybe down in Hershey there’s not as many of those guys. So seeing a guy like [Justin Williams] or [Evgeny Kuznetsov] doing little tricks he does, you just kinda pick up on those things. And maybe try them out yourself, and if they work, you stick with them.”

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

The St. Louis Blues won a decisive Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks 5-0, pushing the Sharks to the brink of elimination.

The Blues are now one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final since the 1969-70 season, where they lost to the Boston Bruins in a sweep.

St. Louis started the scoring early when Oskar Sundqvist netted his second goal of the series in the first five minutes of the game. 

Jaden Schwartz then tallied his first goal of the game off a juicy rebound in front of Martin Jones to start the scoring in the second period. It was Schwartz's 10th goal of the playoffs, which tied him for third all-time in Blues history for goals in the postseason.

Vladimir Tarasenko added to the Blues lead off a penalty shot. He's the first player in Blues franchise history to score a penalty shot goal in the playoffs.

Schwartz then added two more goals in the third period for a hat-trick. The first came on a 5-on-3 power play advantage off a scramble in front of the net, and the second came from a backdoor one-timer pass from Tarasenko.

Schwartz now has 12 goals these playoffs, and it's his second hat-trick of the playoffs.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington recorded 21 saves for a shutout, and he's the first rookie goalie to accomplish that feat for the Blues.


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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues pull even with Sharks with 2-1 win

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues pull even with Sharks with 2-1 win

The St. Louis Blues' two-goal first period powered them to a win over the San Jose Sharks, and the series is now tied.

The Blues started with a goal 35 seconds into the game. Ivan Barbashev picked off a Brent Burns exit pass and flung it towards the net for the games opening goal. 

Barbashev is the second Blues player to score in the first minute of a game these playoffs. Jaden Schwartz is the other player.

Tyler Bozak scored the game-winning goal for the Blues on a power play off a scramble in front of the net.

The Sharks responded when Thomas Hertl poked the puck past the goal line after Jordan Binnington thought he had the puck covered. Hertl now has 10 goals this postseason for the Sharks, and the team now features 10 or more players to score 10+ goals in the playoffs for the second time in franchise history.

Binnington's 29 save performance gave him his 10th win of the playoffs, the most of any Blues goaltender in franchise history.