Capitals’ midseason lull continues with lackluster loss to the Blues

At the sight of another flash of red behind the Washington Capitals’ net — the goal light sparking on again — the organist at Capital One Arena played an appropriately gloomy tune and fans started toward the exits Monday night. St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko had just scored on a power play to make it a three-goal game, and any hope of a Washington comeback was extinguished.

The fans didn’t have much reason to stay, and some who did booed the Capitals as they left the ice after a 4-1 loss. Washington was outshot and cheap nhl jerseys china
out-hustled by an opponent with a significantly inferior record, and the Capitals have now dropped two straight games and five of their past eight. More concerning is that the Capitals have looked lackluster for long stretches of games lately, perhaps not surprising halfway through the long season. Their lead in the Metropolitan Division has been trimmed to two points.

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“We just didn’t seem as desperate as they did for some reason,” said defenseman Brooks Orpik, who skated in his 1,000th game. “Kind of seemed like we were second to the puck on a lot of loose pucks. A couple weird bounces there on two of the goals, but they were playing in our zone for the most part there in the second period. There were lucky bounces, but they were carrying the play for the most part. It was frustrating. . . .
“Sometimes you play well and you don’t get points, but that hasn’t been the case. We’ve been flat for the most part.”
Second periods have been Washington’s best this season — coming into this matchup with St. Louis, the Capitals had outscored opponents 62-42 in the frame — but after the Capitals were fortunate to get to the first intermission with a 1-0 lead on captain Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal, they found themselves trailing 3-1 just eight minutes later.

With this being the first game of a back-to-back set — Washington will play at Nashville on Tuesday night — Coach Todd Reirden started Pheonix Copley against St. Louis, Copley’s former team. While the Capitals signed Copley as an undrafted free agent in 2014, he was part of the trade with the Blues that brought forward T.J. Oshie to Washington. And then when Washington acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from St. Louis in 2017, Copley was shipped back to the Capitals as part of that deal.

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