• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

Capitals’ playoff hopes take but yet another hit with loss to Blues


Mar 18, 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sammy Blais scored twice, Joel Hofer created 33 saves in his season debut and the St. Louis Blues dealt the Washington Capitals a substantial blow in their lengthy-shot bid for a playoff spot with a 5-two victory Friday evening.

The Capitals missed an likelihood to make up ground in the race for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot against an opponent lengthy out of it in the West. They trail the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders by five points with 12 games left to play.

Their odds of developing it would have been even slimmer if not for a comeback victory in a shootout against Buffalo on Wednesday, but each and every and each regulation loss tends to make the climb a lot far more difficult. Coming up empty in a listless, error-heavy loss to St. Louis does just that.

There was a lot of blame to go about for Washington.

Trade deadline pickup Rasmus Sandin — a single specific of two additions amid a selloff — was on the ice for four ambitions against, and poor puck management gave the Blues higher-top quality probabilities. Darcy Kuemper permitted at least a single specific soft target amongst the four he gave up on 21 shots behind a defense missing Nick Jensen considering that of injury.

At the other finish, the Capitals got third period ambitions from Martin Fehervary and Nicklas Backstrom against Hofer, a rookie playing just his third NHL game following starter Jordan Binnington was suspended for throwing a punch in the Blues’ final game.

St. Louis after far more got contributions from all three reclamation projects acquired in bargains prior to the deadline: the ambitions from Blais and a single specific from Kasperi Kapanen and an aid from Jakub Vrana on Jordan Kyrou’s group-best 31st of the season. Brayden Schenn sealed it with a lengthy-distance empty netter with 1:39 left.

Vrana, who was drafted by the Capitals and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2018 and was traded to Detroit in 2021, has five points in six games simply because joining the Blues from the Red Wings earlier this month.

UP Subsequent

Blues: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday evening.

Capitals: Take a appear at the Minnesota Wild on Sunday afternoon.


Comply with AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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