Just 39 seconds after Mike Green
’s second goal of the contest tied the game at 2-2, Washington was the benefactor of a two-man advantage for 1:21. It could not use that time to take control of the game.
St. Louis got the go-ahead goal with just 1:19 remaining in the second and added another to take a two-goal lead just 1:11 into the third period. Washington squandered a power play chance early in the third, and then was unable to cash in on a second two-man advantage later in the final frame, this one 1:03 in duration.
Michael Nylander deflected Alex Ovechkin
’s point shot into the cage to pull Washington within one with 1:12 remaining, but an obviously exhausted group of Caps was unable to get the puck into the offensive zone the rest of the way.Missing Their Captain –
The Capitals are now 2-5-3 in the 10 games in which Chris Clark has not been available to play.
With Clark out of the lineup on Saturday and Semin sidelined after the game started, Matt Pettinger skated 22:50 against the Blues, just shy of his single-game career high of 23:06 against Philadelphia on Jan. 6, 2006.Alex Ovechkin
skated a season high 25:41 against the Blues. Viktor Kozlov skated a season high 23:26 and Nylander’s 22:09 was just six seconds off his single-game ice time high for this season.
Hello Old Friend –
Brent Johnson got the start in goal for the Capitals on Saturday in St. Louis, facing the team that gave him his start in the NHL. Johnson spent parts of five seasons with the Blues and still ranks among the top five netminders in franchise history in several categories.
Johnson is now 1-1 in games played against his former teams. He defeated Phoenix with the Caps on Jan. 16, 2006.
Power Play Formation –
With Tom Poti
, Alexander Semin
and Chris Clark out of the lineup, Washington was without three of its most frequently deployed power play specialists. As a result, a heavy extra-man workload was placed on some others.
Nylander played 9:00 on the power play, Ovechkin 8:54, Pettinger 8:03, and Kozlov 7:48. Alexander Semin
's absence from the lineup prevented the Caps from using their five-forward power play formation for most of the evening.
Shots Down –
Washington held the opposition to fewer than 30 shots on goal for the fifth consecutive game. The last time the Caps had a longer such streak was from Feb. 27-Mar. 8, 2004 when they went six straight games without allowing as many as 30 shots on goal.
St. Louis finished Saturday night’s game with just 18 shots on goal, the lowest total allowed by Washington in a game since it allowed 17 in a 3-2 win over the Sabres at Rochester on Oct. 26, 2005.Nine of 10 for Eight –
Ovechkin picked up a pair of assists, marking the ninth game in 10 in which he has recorded a point this season. He has six goals and 13 points in 10 games.Digging a Hole –
Saturday night marked the second straight game in which Washington was scored upon on game’s first shot, and the second straight contest in which it surrendered two goals on the game’s first five shots.Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show –
Exactly half of the 14 minor penalties whistled in Saturday’s game were of the hooking variety. St. Louis took three hooking minors in a span of 1:14 in the second period.Two For Green –
Green’s two-goal game was the first of his NHL career and it matched his season’s output from 2006-07. Green’s two-goal game was the first by a Washington defenseman since Jamie Heward netted a pair in Los Angeles on Dec. 14, 2005.
Brash Power –
Donald Brashear skated a season high 9:03 on Saturday, including exactly two minutes worth of power play time. He was on the ice and using his considerable frame to create a screen in front when Washington scored its only power play goal of the games in the second period. Brashear averaged 23 seconds per game in power play time last season. Ankle Again –
On the day his two-year contract extension was announced, Caps left wing Alexander Semin
left the game with an apparent recurrence of the ankle injury that recently kept him on the sidelines for six games. The Russian left wing is listed as day-to-day.
Down on the Farm –
The South Carolina Stingrays forged another road win on Saturday, taking a 3-1 decision over the Johnstown Chiefs. Stingrays captain Cail MacLean and rookie Paul McIlveen scored on the power play and Stephen Werner scored the game-winner at even strength to support Davis Parley’s 31-save performance in goal. The Stingrays spotted the Chiefs a 1-0 lead and stormed back to score all three of their goals in the third period.
The victory gives South Carolina a 3-1-1-0 record and lifts it into sole possession of first place in the ECHL’s South Division.