Playing the second of back-to-back games has been problematic for the Washington Capitals, and it proved so again on Sunday, as the Caps fell to the St. Louis Blues at home 4-3.
Karl Alzner took a hit from St. Louis Blues center David Backes in the second period of the Capitals’ Sunday afternoon matinee at Verizon Center.
While Alzner fought for the puck along the boards, Backes approached, and stapled Alzner to the boards. The defenseman dropped to the ice and emerged from a tangle of skates and fists bleeding from a cut over his left eye.
“I haven’t had stitches in a while, so I finally got my wish, I guess,” Alzner quipped during his postgame scrum. He knows the outcome could easily have been much worse than a few stitches.
Backes was subsequently charged with a boarding major and a game misconduct that warranted his ejection from the game.
“It wasn’t a great hit,” said Alzner. “I’m sure he knows that. It wasn’t his battle. It was me and that d-man’s battle.” Alzner’s revenge came in the form of a goal in the third period, his fourth of the year, a career-high.
After Backes’ ejection, the five-minute man advantage that ensued was an exercise in futility for a typically prolific Washington power play, which had already struck once that day.
Moments after the power play expired, St. Louis’ Alexander Steen netted his second goal of the day. Washington’s Alexander [Ovechkin] upped the ante with his second goal of the game, the equalizer.
The game now at 2-2, it looked like a barnburner, and certainly within Washington’s reach, until Dmitrij Jaskin struck for the Blues.
That was when things began to unravel. Washington played the afternoon before in Montreal, and didn’t have the jump they needed to dog the puck the way St. Louis was able to do at every opportunity.
It was only a matter of time until the Blues put another puck in the back of the net. In the third period, Vladimir Tarasenko’s breakaway goal sealed the game for St. Louis.
Justin Peters, in his first start since January 17, was the unfortunate victim of defensive lapses and poor rebound control throughout the game. The Capitals allowed 40 shots in the 4-2 loss.
- Alex Ovechkin’s two goals surpassed Peter Bondra’s franchise record for multi-goal games (93). This was Ovechkin’s 94th career multi-goal game, and the goals, his 30th and 31st of the season, marked his tenth consecutive season of scoring at 30 or more goals during his career. He also tied his season-high shots on goal with 10.