Can the Washington Capitals get back in the win column Thursday night?
The Washington Capitals are coming off an epic, yet controversial, loss in Pittsburgh Monday night. The two teams combined for 15 goals, with the Penguins getting the game-winner just 36 seconds into overtime. That loss snapped Washington’s nine-game win streak. With two days off to get over the loss, the Caps will look to start a new streak against the St. Louis Blues.
Though the loss to Pittsburgh was disappointing, the fact remains that the Caps are one of the top teams in the league and are currently tied with Columbus for the most points in the NHL.
Head coach Barry Trotz and his squad will have to put the loss and controversial officiating of the Pittsburgh game behind them and look forward to the rest of the season. Up next is another tough road test against a solid St. Louis team.
The Blues are 16-6-4 at home this year, but have won just five of their last 10 games overall. However, they rank in the top ten in goals scored per game, penalty kill percentage, and power play percentage.
Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team with 20 goals and 25 assists. He scored to goals against the Caps during a meeting earlier in the year.
Washington had been playing excellent defense in front of goalie Braden Holtby recently until Monday’s collapse. Still, the Caps can be a very stingy team when it comes to allowing the other team to score. They currently rank first in goals allowed.
The Caps are loaded on offense with stars like Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Ovechkin, and T.J. Oshie, but have also been getting great secondary scoring from guys like Daniel Winnik, Jay Beagle, and Andre Burakovsky.
Backstrom enters Thursday on an absolute tear, putting up 13 points in his last seven games. Ovechkin will look to repeat his performance against the Blues earlier this year — his hat trick led the Caps to a 4-3 victory.