Greiss makes 47 saves, Blues beat Capitals for fifth straight win
St. LUIS — Thomas Greiss made 47 saves, and the St. Louis Blues won their fifth straight game by holding off the Washington Capitals 5-4 in a six-round shootout at the Enterprise Center on Thursday.
Ryan O’Reilly scored to extend his point streak to four games, Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists, and Greiss stopped five of six shot attempts by the Blues (8-8-0), who lost eight straight before their current winning streak.
Pavel Buchnevich scored in the sixth round of the shootout before Greiss made the save Dylan Strome to get his first win (1-3-0) for St. Louis after signing a one-year contract on July 13.
“Take out the monkey [our] back, it’s great to win at home,” Greiss said. “It was fun. I don’t know what it is [about facing a lot of shots this season], but it is so. You have to do the best you can.”
Blues manager Craig Berube said it was a goalie win.
“Sure,” Berube said. “We were a little gassed [from being] on the way and back [after a 5-2 victory at the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday]. He got a good lead, which was important, but the keeper was excellent.”
John Carlson scored twice, Alex Ovechkin scored his 789th NHL goal and had two assists, and Charlie Lindgren made 20 saves for the Capitals (7-9-3), who have lost four of five and are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games.
“Obviously, it’s a tough start,” Ovechkin said. “You go [down] 3-0 after the first, but you can see that the boys did not give up, they played hard. I think the last two periods like the previous game against Florida (Tuesday 5-2), we didn’t start well, but then we start to work hard and we have a chance to bounce back and win the game.”
Carlson made it 4-3 with a power-play goal at 15:45 of the third period, a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Conor Sheary tied it 4-4 at 16:57 from the slot with a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Washington almost took the lead with 2:23 left when Nick Dowd he batted in a drive, but it was determined to be a high post after review. Berube said the Blues were prepared to challenge goalkeeper interference in the event of a goal.
Brayden Schenn gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 4:56 of the first with a wrist shot from the right circle on a 2-on-1 that beat Lindgren on the short side. Buchnevich made it 2-0 at 7:10, scoring his first goal since the season opener on Oct. 15, when he was able to win a long pass off the boards from Tarasenko’s corner and beat to Lindgren in a surrounded.
Torey KrugThe power-play goal from the point at 11:49 made it 3-0.
The Capitals were chasing their second straight game early, frustrating coach Peter Laviolette.
“We didn’t press hard enough offensively,” Laviolette said. “I don’t think we gave up much defensively, but we’ve got to push harder from the start. I don’t think we put enough pucks on net. We didn’t put enough people on net and I thought after the first one, we got into leave”.
Ovechkin made it 3-1 at 15:12 of the second with his first goal in five games after Strome picked off Tarasenko along the right boards and gave Ovechkin alone in the slot.
Carlson made it 3-2 at 17:36 with a shorthanded goal in his 900th NHL game, finishing a 2-on-1 after Schenn missed a high shot.
O’Reilly made it 4-2 with a backhand at 18:02 off a high-low pass from Josh Leivo.
The Capitals outscored the Blues 22-3 in the third and 18-9 in the second.
“We sat down, turned the pucks,” Schenn said. “He didn’t close plays defensively and forced us to play a lot of time in our own end.
“That’s the thing. You give up 50 shots, probably not [playing] tough enough defensively, and the guys that are there, they have a lot of skill. They will make the most of it. And we trusted our goalkeeper too much.”
NOTES: Ovechkin tied Bryan Trottier for 18th all-time in NHL career points (1,425). He has 34 points (19 goals, 15 assists) in 23 games against St. Louis. … Strome had two assists to give him nine points (one goal, eight assists) in nine games against the Blues. … Carlson has three goals and two assists in the last four games. …St. Louis is 5-0-1 in its last six games against Washington. … Tarasenko has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in 12 games against the Capitals. … O’Reilly has six points (three goals, three assists) in his hitting streak.
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