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game recap

Capitals win in OT, spoil Blues home opener

Vrana scores at 2:51; Faulk has assist in St. Louis debut

by Louie Korac / Independent Correspondent

Vrana wins it in overtime

WSH@STL: Vrana scores OT winner for Capitals

Jakub Vrana drives to the left circle and snaps a wrister past Jordan Binnington to win it in overtime for the Capitals

  • 00:58 •

ST. LOUIS -- Jakub Vrana scored 2:51 into overtime, and the Washington Capitals spoiled the St. Louis Blues' home opener with a 3-2 win at Enterprise Center on Wednesday.

Vrana capped a comeback for the Capitals in a matchup of the past two Stanley Cup champions. He skated from the top of the right face-off circle into the left circle and scored on a wrist shot inside the far post.

"That was good patience from our zone," Vrana said. "We really waited for the best shot to take, and then we were there for a long time, so I felt like I could use my skating and shoot the puck, so it was a good job of all three of us (John Carlson, T.J. Oshie)."


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Blues highlights]


Alex Ovechkin scored his 11th goal in his 15th NHL season opener, Dmitry Orlov scored, Lars Eller had two assists, and Braden Holtby made 20 saves for Washington.

Sammy Blais and Alex Pietrangelo scored, Ryan O'Reilly had two assists, Justin Faulk had an assist in his Blues debut, and Jordan Binnington made 31 saves.

"You never like to give up a lead, let alone a 2-0 lead," Binnington said. "But you know, we've just got to keep working and just stick to the game plan and have a little bit more tenacity, I guess. I think it'll come. It was game one, a lot of emotions tonight. Not the right outcome, and hopefully we will get back at it next game."

Video: WSH@STL: Faulk sets up Pietrangelo for PPG

Blais scored 53 seconds into the game to give the Blues a 1-0 lead, and Pietrangelo's power-play goal at 7:55 made it 2-0.

"I liked the start, for sure," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. "I thought guys fed off the start of the game and what went on. After that, we weren't the same."

Ovechkin made it 2-1 at 15:37, and Orlov's power-play goal at 12:28 of the second period tied it 2-2.

"We knew there was still lots of hockey left," Ovechkin said. "We get one and then we knew we had to get another one. And the [penalty kill] stepped up (and) did a great job. After that, we knew if we were going to take a point, it's a good thing. We were lucky enough to get another one and get the two points."

Video: WSH@STL: Ovechkin scores in season opener


They said it

"It's obviously not an ideal start to the season, but I felt like I played the goals fairly well. I just misread little bits of them to execute them. I knew I wasn't far off, and if I just kept pushing that way we were going to play our game and at that point you just try and make the next save to stay in the game as long as you can." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby on allowing two goals on the first three shots

"Getting a point out of that with all the emotions going on, I think it's a good point, but it's not good enough. It's a good realization that we have to go back to work." -- Blues center Ryan O'Reilly 

"Just too slow and too much time. More aggressive. Soft. Just backing off too much. To me, our whole game tonight, we weren't aggressive. We didn't play our game. The first period was fine, but after that I thought we got away from our game and just didn't have that aggressive mindset, didn't manage the puck very well." -- Blues coach Craig Berube on the overtime goal


Need to know

Ovechkin has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 15 season-opening games and 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) in 20 games against St. Louis. ... Holtby is 8-1-0 against the Blues. … Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov served the first of a three-game suspension for inappropriate conduct during the offseason. … Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary was plus-1 in 13:35 in his NHL debut. … O'Reilly's assist on the Blais goal was his 500th NHL point; he has nine assists the past eight games against the Capitals. ... It was the second time in the NHL modern era (1943-44) that the two previous Stanley Cup champions played their first regular-season game against each other. The Chicago Blackhawks (1961) and Toronto Maple Leafs (1962) were the last to do so in 1962-63. … The Blues raised their championship banner during a pregame ceremony that included a video commemorating their championship season, the first in their history.


What's next

Capitals: At the New York Islanders on Friday (Nassau Coliseum; 7 p.m. ET; MSG+, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Blues: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Video: Vrana scores in OT as Caps spoil Blues' banner night

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