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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:28 am 
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WASHINGTON -- The St. Louis Blues hope to be better prepared for Sunday afternoon's start against the Washington Capitals than they were Saturday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers.

St. Louis fell behind Philadelphia 4-0 in the second period before staging an unsuccessful rally in a 6-3 loss that snapped a three-game winning streak.

"Just not ready. Not ready," coach Mike Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of the Blues' slow start. "That was one of the keys to the game for us was to start on time and we didn't."

Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists for the Flyers. Ivan Barbashev and Paul Stastny each had a goal and an assist for the Blues (26-16-2), and Jake Allen made 33 saves.

"They scored a couple of goals in the first and in the second, again a couple of breakdowns. You can't be trying to come back from 4-0, it's too good of a league. We waited too long today," Allen told NHL.com.

Backup Carter Hutton (8-3-0, 1.64 goals-against average, .947 save percentage) had been in net during the Blues three-game streak and he will likely start Sunday versus Washington.

The Blues are 11-8-2 on the road this season, but 1-5-0 in their last six away from home and have been outscored 20-11 in that span.

While the Blues will be playing the second of back-to-backs when the teams meet for the first time this season as Washington opens a three-game homestand, the Capitals have been off since Tuesday's win at Carolina,

After a hiccup around Christmas, the Capitals (25-13-3) have won three straight and sit atop the Metropolitan Division at the midway point of their schedule.

Alex Ovechkin has six points (three goals, three assists) in the three games, continuing his bounce-back season. After scoring 33 goals last season, the 32-year-old Ovechkin already has 26 goals in 41 games.

Ovechkin is 16 goals shy of 600 career tallies. Somewhat surprisingly, he is only six assists shy of 500 for his career, which would make him only the second player in Capitals franchise history to reach 500, after linemate Nicklas Backstrom.

"Ovi is an underrated passer," Capitals coach Barry Trotz told the Washington Post. "I just thought he was a pure shooter from afar. And then you start to see some of the plays that he can make."

Ovechkin told the Post he doesn't care that his critics see him as selfish with the puck, but does care what his teammates think.

"I like to shoot the puck more than anybody in the league," he said. "If my partner is in a better position, I give it to them."

Washington is expected to get defenseman Matt Niskanen (upper-body injury) back after he missed a game, and 22-year-old forward Andre Burakovsky, a healthy scratch the last two games, is likely to be back in the lineup.

"I think he is a young player," Trotz told the team's website regarding Burakovsky. "And credit the 12 forwards who are in -- they are making my decision really, really hard, which is what you want. And so we'll see where Andre is (on Sunday) and go from there."

Washington goalie Braden Holtby is undefeated against the Blues, going 5-0 with a 1.80 GAA and .937 SP.

Ovechkin has 13 goals and 12 assists in 25 games against St. Louis.

Hutton is 2-2, 3.66, .861 versus Washington.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:11 pm 
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After yesterday's game, I worry a little about Allen's confidence. Hutton has been the talk of the town with his stellar play, and earned the right to start a few games in a row, corresponding to a 3-game win streak after an absolutely awful stretch. Jake finally gets his shot again and right off the bat gives up 5 goals against the last-place (in the Metro) Flyers. That's got to take a toll on a guy's psyche.

I'm sure the next time Hutton gets lit up (potentially today), Jake will start the next game again.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:42 pm 
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This has been kind of a pattern for Allen, though, even with the small sample size.

Good start, weak mid-season, good finish.

It's almost like his angles on some shots are just a little bit off - just like last December and January.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Great kill - no good shots! But looks like they'll have another penalty to kill off.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:34 pm 
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The tired Blues penalty killers give up a tip-in goal. :cussing:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:41 pm 
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Great save by Hutton!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Another couple of good saves by Hutton, to keep the lead at 1 (1-0).

A better 1st Period than yesterday, but still some problems on defence (leading to holding penalties), and failure to convert on offence.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:05 pm 
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Great O-Zone entry by The Blues, ending with Tarasenko burying one! Good pass from Barbashev. Blues tie it at 1!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Looks like the Caps are giving Tarasenko a lot of room to skate.

I am in full support of this.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:12 pm 
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Blues score on the PP!!! Schenn buries it on a nice feed from Pietrangelo!!! Blues lead 2-1!!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Thompson in all alone with the whole right side open, hits the post! Should have made it 3-1! :(

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Another great save by Hutton! His rebound control has been phenomenal lately.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Blues back on The PP!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:41 pm 
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Nice recent flurry by The Blues! They are buzzin'! Should have jammed it in with 2 forwards right in front. Nice 2nd, outshooting Caps 17-6! 2-1 lead end of 2!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Another good kill by The Blues, then Tarasenko in all alone stoned by Holtby!!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Super save by Hutton! But Blues took a penalty. And Ovechkin scores immediately off the faceoff. Boo! :twisted: :cussing:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Gunnarsson shoots it from the blueline with a screen, and it goes in!!! Blues tie it at 3!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Beautiful play by Berglund to Paajarvi, but the latter couldn't finish. :cussing:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:39 pm 
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Beautiful glove save by Hutton!

And we go to OT. Okay on the road against a good team. But The Blues had several good chances in which r=they failed to convert.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:41 pm 
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And we go to OT. Okay on the road against a good team. But The Blues had several good chances in which r=they failed to convert.

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