Capitals score seven again, rout Blues
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[January 20, 2017]
ST. LOUIS -- T.J. Oshie knows a
team doesn't score seven goals and lose a game very often in the
Having witnessed that first-hand in the Washington Capitals'
previous game on Monday night in Pittsburgh, however, Oshie and his
teammates made certain it didn't happen again Thursday night in St.
Oshie was one of seven Capitals to score a goal, and he also
contributed an assist as Washington routed the Blues 7-3 to improve
its record to 10-0-2 in the past 12 games.
The Blues lost for the fifth time in their past six games at
Scottrade Center and gave up five or more goals for the third
consecutive home game.
The Capitals scored five or more goals for the fifth consecutive
game, the first time they managed that since Feb. 4-11, 2010,
Washington scored five-plus for the eighth time in 11 games.
Included in that span was an 8-7 overtime loss to the Penguins.
Four of the goals came in a 10-minute span in the second period when
the Capitals chased Blues goalie Jake Allen from the game and built
a 6-1 lead.
"There was a 5- to 10 minute period where we really turned it on,"
said Oshie, whose first career goal against his former team ignited
the flurry. "We're really finding the net right now. All four lines
Oshie's goal came after the Blues pulled within 2-1 just 19 seconds
into the second period on Jaden Schwartz's first goal in 12 games.
It was followed by goals from Brett Connolly and Marcus Johansson
before a power-play goal by Justin Williams capped Washington's
Connolly's goal chased Allen, who had come out for a 2:22 break
after allowing the first two goals on three shots on goal in the
first period. Allen ended up allowing four goals on 10 shots, and he
was removed for the fourth time in his past six starts and the third
time in a row.
Allen, who has allowed 10 goals on 36 shots in his past three
starts, was not made available to the media after the game.
Johansson's goal came 11 seconds after Carter Hutton replaced Allen.
Hutton wound up yielding three goals on eight shots.
"You can't get carried away scoring five, six or seven goals a
night, that's not going to last," Williams said. "You ride the
highs. You have to understand we are not going to keep scoring like
Coach Barry Trotz was happy to see it again on Thursday night.
"We know we're going to have games where it's going to be strange,
and tonight I didn't think we played particularly well," Trotz said.
"I thought in the first period the Blues had a lot more chances. ...
We had some good fortune and goals that went in a little bit easier,
a deflection and all that, but I thought in the third we just killed
the clock a little bit."
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Capitals center Jay Beagle (83) celebrates with left wing Daniel
Winnik (26) after scoring against St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen
(not pictured) during the first period at Scottrade Center.
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Capitals' leading scorer, Alex Ovechkin, did not score a goal
but did contribute two assists.
It was a bounce-back performance for Washington goalie Braden
Holtby, who was pulled in the second period against Pittsburgh.
Holtby allowed only one goal Thursday until the Capitals had a 7-1
lead, with Alexander Steen getting two late goals.
Holtby can empathize with the struggles Allen is going through, as
he allowed three or more goals for the fourth consecutive game.
"You never want to see a guy struggle like that," Holtby said. "He's
not going to back down."
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock admitted the team is in a tough spot when
it comes to Allen's recent performance.
"I don't know how far it sets him back," Hitchcock said. "Everything
we needed to see, we saw at practice. There's a lot going on right
now. He's kind of locked up mentally, and he's going to have to
fight through this. We know we are going to need way better just to
be competitive. Beating it up any more is not going to do us any
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said the team is going to find a
way out of its struggles together.
"This is a team, there's no individuals," Pietrangelo said. "It's
got to come from in this locker room. It's a collective effort.
Right now, it needs to be better. "
NOTES: D Carl Gunnarsson returned to the Blues' lineup for the first
time in eight games, seven of which he missed because of a
lower-body injury. He replaced D Joel Edmundson, who was a healthy
scratch for the first time in 21 games. ... LW Scottie Upshall, a
healthy scratch for the last three games, also was back in the Blues
lineup, in place of RW Nail Yakupov. ... Capitals D John Carlson
missed his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury.
The Capitals considered calling up another defenseman from the minor
leagues for their two-game trip but decided to not make any roster
moves. ... The Capitals play Saturday night in Dallas, while the
Blues begin a three-game trip Saturday in Winnipeg.
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