Red-hot Blues seek season-high fourth consecutive road win

BY foxsports • January 31, 2015

The Washington Capitals failed to build on their only victory in the past two weeks and could have a challenge getting back in the win column Sunday despite returning home.

The Capitals will welcome the red-hot St. Louis Blues, who will seek a season-high fourth consecutive road win and their 10th in 11 overall.

Washington (25-14-10) is 1-3-2 in its last six and beat Pittsburgh 4-0 on Wednesday for that lone victory. The Capitals were then edged 1-0 in overtime in Montreal on Saturday despite outshooting the hosts 17-6 in the second period and 36-30 for the game.

"I thought both goaltenders played real good," coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought we played a solid road game. We just couldn't find the back of the net.

"We hit three posts and had a number of good chances. I don't think we gave up a whole lot. I was pretty happy with the way we played."

Washington is 8-0-1 in its last nine home games, with the lone defeat coming in a shootout with Edmonton on Jan. 20. The Capitals, though, will face a Blues team that's 9-0-1 in its last 10 and aiming for its first four-game road win streak since a five-game run March 2-15.

St. Louis (31-13-4) has claimed its past two victories in shootouts and rallied from an early two-goal deficit for a 5-4 win over Nashville in the first of those Thursday. The Blues blew an early two-goal lead in Carolina on Friday before Kevin Shattenkirk tallied the winner in the extra session for the second straight night in a 3-2 victory.

"I think our goal ... was to have a really solid road effort. I think we did that and were able to stick with it once they got their two goals and keep pushing," Shattenkirk said. "Now, we need to rest up and be ready for a tough Washington team."

Watch the Blues Live pregame and postgame shows before and after every St. Louis Blues game on FOX Sports Midwest.

David Backes, Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz each had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over the visiting Capitals on Nov. 15, the Blues' second in the last six matchups.

"I think that game was a huge eye-opener for us as a group. We realized that we had a lot to do to improve and be a team that could be at an elite level," Washington goaltender Braden Holtby said. "St. Louis really played well and had us on our heels. I think tomorrow it's going to be a lot different. I think we have the capability to do that to them."

St. Louis is 1-3-1 in its past five visits to Washington, including a 4-1 loss in the latest one Nov. 17, 2013.

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored the first two goals in that game, and he has five goals and nine assists in 10 career matchups. He had 15 goals and four assists in the 17 games before Saturday's loss.

Backes has totaled eight goals and eight assists in a career-high, nine-game point streak. He has three goals and two assists in nine lifetime matchups with Washington.

Berglund and Jori Lehtera, who scored a goal in the win in November, both sat out Friday's victory because of upper-body injuries suffered in the win over Nashville.


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