|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 14, 2019
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 18,506
Capitals attempt to solve hot Blues' goalie
The Washington Capitals are trying to rebound from a tough division loss and they could run into a hot rookie goalie when the St. Louis Blues come to the District on Monday.
Washington had won three straight games before dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to Metro Division rival Columbus on Saturday. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the game-tying goal with just over a minute left to force extra time, but Nicklas Backstrom's slashing penalty gave the Blue Jackets a power play they scored on for the win.
The Capitals have become locked in a battle for the top spot in the Metro Division. After Saturday's overtime loss, Washington had 59 points and held a three-point lead over Pittsburgh plus a four-point edge over the Blue Jackets.
Two areas Washington has struggled in lately are power plays and faceoffs. The Capitals did better in the latter, taking 40 of 76 draws, including one late that led to the Kuznetsov goal.
At least that got the game into overtime, which gave the Caps a point, something that coach Todd Reirden liked.
"I'm really happy for us to get a point out of that at the end there," he told the media afterwards. "It's a really important point."
The biggest question would involve All-Star goalie Braden Holtby, who came out midway through Saturday's game after being accidentally poked in the face/eye region by Cam Atkinson of Columbus. Holtby skated with the team at Sunday's practice, but they'll wait to see how he feels on Monday before planning what to do next.
Pheonix Copley came in and played great, just giving up the one overtime goal, and could start if Holtby's not ready.
St. Louis has gotten some surprising help out of rookie goalie Jordan Binnington. The 25-year-old has played over 200 games in the minors but improved to 3-0 in the NHL with a 21-save performance in a 3-1 victory over Dallas in Texas on Saturday.
After that win, his goals-against average fell to 0.67 during the three-game stretch while his save percentage rose to .974.
"Yeah, it's been good," Binnington told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "That's a good week. And just like that (we're) going into another week in two days."
It will be interesting to see if St. Louis starts Binnington against Washington, considering the Caps have yet to see him play and struggled against the Blue Jackets, missing on a number of good scoring chances in the third period.
The Blues are fighting for a playoff spot under interim coach Craig Berube, and they've been playing better lately. They have won two in a row and will be trying for a third consecutive victory for the first time this season in Monday's game in D.C.
In fact, St. Louis beat the Capitals 5-2 in a home game on Jan. 3, so the Blues recently saw Washington and did a good job of shutting down its high-powered offense.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice in the Dallas win Saturday.
The Blues need help at forward, so the Post-Dispatch reported Sunday that the team recalled Jordan Kyrou and Jordan Nolan from San Antonio in the American Hockey League. Three forwards are on injured reserve, so St. Louis made these moves to give it some depth on offense.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 13, 2019