The Washington Capitals moved into sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The win improves Washington to 12-8-1 overall with 25 points. They jump one point over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Alexander Ovechkin jumped into the NHL lead in goals scored, notching his 16th and 17th goals of the season, nothing coming in the opening period. Ovechkin’s first of the game came at the 7:17 mark of the opening period taking a pass for Nicklas Backstrom and burying an absolute bomb past Blues’ goalie Jaroslav Halak. Ovechkin made it 2-0 just five minutes later for his 17th of the season, making him a perfect 2-2 on shots in the first period. It was Ovi’s 80th career multi goal game. Mikhail Grabovski added the third goal,of the first period, the tally that chased Halak from the game. Grabovski grabbed a rebound from a Jason Chimera shot to hurt it past Halak. Despite being out shot 10-9 in the first period, Caps took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
St. Louis got on the board in the second period on a power play goal by Vladimir Sobotka. His third goal of the season cut the Caps lead to 3-1. The power play opportunity came off a Martin Erat hooking penalty. The Caps got the lead back to three goals on a power play tally by defenseman John Carlson. Carlson’s bomb from the point was assisted by Nicklas Backstrom. It was also the third assist of the game for Backstrom, his third game with three or more assists this season. The Blues bombarded the Caps with 19 shots, compared to just 3 for the Caps in the second period, but the Blues only managed 1 goal. The Caps took a 4-1 lead in the second intermission.
The Caps and Blues traded several scoreless man advantages in the final frame. Ultimately, they skated to a scoreless third period, giving the Caps the 4-1 win.
Braden Holtby had a fantastic game for the Caps between the pipes, turning away 46 of 47 shots. Holtby improved to 10-6 on the season.
Capitals move into first place in their division.
Nicklas Baclatrom, 3 assists
Alexander Ovechkin, 2 goals