Blues backup goalie Ty Conklin struggles as the playoff bound Capitals take it to the Blues.
Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 yesterday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Newcomer Jason Arnott scored the game-winner, scoring the go-ahead goal with just under 6 minutes to play in regulation.
Arnott took a crossing pass from Alexander Semin and beat goalie Ty Conklin with a slap shot from the left circle to snap a 2-2 tie.
Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth stopped 25 shots to set a franchise record for wins by a rookie with 21.
Alexander Steen and B.J. Crombeen scored for the Blues, who were coming off two straight shutout losses to Calgary. St. Louis has dropped six of seven and is 13th in the West, nine points out of a playoff spot.
“We played much better tonight, but it obviously doesn’t mean much when you don’t get two points,” said Crombeen.
Washington trailed 1-0 until Scott Hannan scored at 3:05 of the second period.
The tie lasted just over 2 minutes. Crombeen gained possession of the puck off a faceoff in the Washington end, skated up the right side and whipped a shot past Neuvirth for a 2-1 lead.
It didn’t take long for Washington to pull even again. Mike Knuble‘s pass from the left circle was deflected into the air to Niklas Backstrom, who took a hack at it around his waist with a baseball swing. The puck one-hopped into the net past the stunned Conklin at 6:48.
Despite playing much better than they did Tuesday’s 6-0 loss to the Flames, the Blues came up empty again — and they know time is running out.”We need to find a way to win games,” Blues forward David Backes said. “There’s no question that’s a good team, but if we plan on being a good team we need to find ways to play with the best.”