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Game Preview: St Louis Blues Visit Washington Capitals
Tonight the St Louis Blues will look for another win against the Eastern Division when they visit the Washington Capitals at 6:00 PM ET/ 5:00 PM CT. The Capitals are 11-8-1 and hold the second place in the Metropolitan Division. Our Blues are holding the second place in the Central with 13-2-3. So with both teams holding second place in their respective divisions, this should prove to be a pretty good matchup.
The Blues are coming off of a great five-game homestand. This ended with them picking up 9 of 10 possible points. I’m sure the guys are feeling good about that. Hopefully they can carry this momentum on the road for these next three games.
The Capitals last game was a nail-biter against Detroit where they came from behind and ended up in a shootout. The Capitals had to do without Mike Green who was sidelined with a lower-body injury. The most experienced of their 6 defensemen was Karl Alzner with 275 games under his belt. The Capitals 6 blueliners only had a combined 622 games of experience. To say the least they were a bit green, but they were able to get the job done just fine. (dumpnchase)
Capitals coach Adam Oats had nothing but praise when talking about his young players.
Carly played 32 and a half minutes, exclaims Oates. Alzie played a ton. They played great. Tyson [Strachan] came in and played a fantastic game for us for what we asked of him. He moved the puck great. Schmidtty is playing better every night I feel and [Alexander Urbom] is playing better every night. Stevie [Oleksy] did a great job tonight. Going into this building or the first time for a lot of guys, it’s hard. But they did a good job.
Now the Capitals have recently put together a 6-1-1 streak to climb the Metropolitan Division charts. They are not as good even strength (18th in the NHL) as they are with special teams. Their power play is 24.4% which is second to the Blues, and their penalty kill is second to Vancouver. So that mans it is very important for the Blues to keep penalties to a minimum tonight. It is not just special teams that the Blues need to keep an eye on; it is also the possibility of a shootout. The Capitals are 8-0 in shootouts since Oats took over as coach last year. (stltoday)
Of course the Blues have Alexander Steen on the roster. He got himself another goal last night to raise his tally to 17. He is now holding the goal leader spot in the NHL over the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin by 2 goals. So take that Caps. It should be interesting to watch this game where the top two goal scorers in the NHL will be facing off. Who will come out on top? Well, I’m going to this game, so I hope it is the Blues.
Time for the Blues injury report. The good news for today is that it looks like Magnus Paajarvi is going to be in the game tonight. We all know how hard he has been working to get healthy and back to the game. The bad news today is that Patrik Berglund is out. He is apparently suffering from an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Hopefully he won’t be out too long.
Let’s Go Blues!
Feature Image Courtesy of victoriapaige56 /Flickr