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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, November 17, 2022
Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 18,096

Surging Blues head home to face slumping Caps

Washington Capitals at St. Louis Blues

  1. The Blues look to run their point streak against the Capitals to six games as the interconference rivals meet for the first time this season. St. Louis is 4-0-1 in the last five matchups after sweeping last season's series, capped by a 5-2 victory March 22 when Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists.
  2. Alex Ovechkin failed to register a point in either game versus the Blues last season after notching at least one in 17 of his previous 20 matchups. Ovechkin has seven goals and seven assists in 11 career games in St. Louis, highlighted by a hat trick in a 5-1 win April 29, 2016, that completed the seventh of his nine 50-goal seasons.
  3. The Capitals are 0-6-2 in their last eight road games when allowing a power-play goal, a streak that began with a 4-3 overtime loss at Vegas on April 20. Washington is 0-5-1 in such contests this season and its 75.8 percent success rate (25-for-33) on the penalty kill on the road ranks 19th in the league.
  4. Ryan O'Reilly, who has two goals and three assists in his last three contests, carries a five-game point streak against the Capitals into this contest with a goal and eight assists in that run. The goal, which came in the most recent matchup, is his only tally in 21 lifetime matchups versus Washington.
  5. The Blues are 0-2-0 playing on the back end of consecutive nights this season after going 6-2-3 in such contests in 2021-22. St. Louis has been outscored 11-3 in the two defeats, including 10-2 combined in the second and third periods.
  6. St. Louis is tied for last in the NHL with 26 second-period goals allowed, and its minus-10 goal difference in the second period ranks tied for 29th. The Blues led the league with 124 goals scored and a plus-51 goal difference in the second period in 2021-22, while their 73 goals allowed were tied for third-fewest.

After pulling out of their season-threatening slump, the St. Louis Blues will try to keep Washington from doing the same when they host the Capitals on Thursday.

The Blues have stabilized by winning four straight games after suffering eight consecutive regulation losses, a team record. The injury-depleted Capitals come into the game in St. Louis with just two victories in their past nine games (2-5-2).

"We got a real hungry team coming in here (Thursday)," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said after the Blues handled the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday to cap a 3-0-0 road trip. "They're going to be desperate, so it will be a tough game, a real tough game."

After producing just one point in his first 10 games this season, Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly has three goals and three assists in his past five contests, including a goal and an assist on Wednesday. He has been playing with wingers Josh Leivo, a recent recall from the AHL, and Brandon Saad.

"I think we fit, our roles in the game," Leivo told Bally Sports Midwest. "A lot of working. ... We've been finding each other down low and capitalizing on our chances, which has worked so far and we'd like to keep it going."

Jordan Binnington has been in goal throughout the Blues' winning streak, but Thomas Greiss (0-3-0, 3.78 goals-against average) is likely to start against the Capitals in the second of back-to-back games.

St. Louis defenseman Colton Parayko is questionable for the Washington game after missing Wednesday's game due to an undisclosed injury. Tyler Tucker made his NHL debut in Parayko's place and finished with an even rating in 11:05 of ice time.

The Capitals have struggled while dealing with injuries to defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forwards T.J. Oshie, Connor Brown, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom and Carl Hagelin.

Washington applied more offensive pressure in its latest game, a 5-2 road loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The Capitals put 43 shots on goal, including 22 in the third period.

"The last two periods were better than in the first," said Capitals center Dylan Strome, who scored a goal. "I think we had our chances to score, but just a couple bad breaks and the puck ends up in the back of our net. With the rut we're in right now, that's kind of the way it's been going.

"We've got to find a way to get going and start getting some wins."

The Capitals opened the Florida game with Sonny Milano playing on the top line with Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Coach Peter Laviolette shuffled his lines and tried Aliaksei Protas in the top group at even strength.

Washington is also looking to jump-start its power play, which has fallen into a 0-for-21 slump.

"Just obviously not good enough," Strome said. "It's our job to go out there and at least get momentum. I feel like on the first couple, we didn't even do that. It wasn't great (Tuesday) on the power play, same as the last couple of games.

"And now it's on us to figure it out. Power play is a huge part of the game. They get a power-play goal tonight and we don't, and that could have made the difference."

--Field Level Media

Updated November 17, 2022

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