Throughout the second half of the season, the Washington Capitals had a chance to help themselves but couldn’t do it. Now, they must rely on the bad luck of other teams for their playoff fate. Riding the momentum from their shootout win against the Islanders on Saturday, the Capitals stymied the league-leading St. Louis Blues, 4-1.
Alex Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game, his 50th of the season. Ovechkin is the first player in the NHL this season to reach that mark, and will likely be the only one. This season is the fifth 50-goal campaign of his career.
Though the Blues out shot-attempted the Capitals by double, the Capitals dominated on the scoreboard.
Mikhail Grabovski opened the floodgates with his second period goal, his 13th tally of the season. Nicklas Backstrom added another even-strength goal, his 16th of the season, to round out the period for the Caps.
Leading 3-1 heading into the third period, the most dangerous lead of all, the Capitals hung on, and got more help from Backstrom.
Backstrom tallied his 17th of the season a power play goal, to put the Capitals up 4-1.
Braden Holtby was stellar, stopping 28 of 29 shots in the win. There was a lot of buzz surrounding the starting goaltender situation preceding the game, but Holtby’s performance pushed it to the background.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were officially eliminated from playoff contention tonight, but even if the Capitals win their remaining three games, there is still a mathematically slim chance they will make the playoffs.