Blues down Caps 2-1 in Hunter's debut

New coach, same story for the Washington Capitals in the month of November. 

Matt D'Agostini's wrap-around goal at the 8:54 mark of the second period put the visiting St. Louis Blues up 2-1, a lead that they wouldn't surrender. 

Nicklas Backstrom opened the scoring for the homestanding Caps with his 8th goal of the season at 10:15 of the first. His goal was met with a response about five minutes later from the Blues and T.J. Oshie. 

D'Agostini gave the Blues the lead in the second period with a great individual effort. He blasted a slapshot that handcuffed Tomas Vokoun, then collected the rebound and wheeled behind the net to slam the puck home to net his 6th goal of the season. 

New Caps coach Dale Hunter, who was hired Monday, saw more of the same lackluster offense that has plagued the team all month. The Caps registered only 19 shots on Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, who was solid in goal all night, denying a late flurry from the Caps in the games closing seconds. 

He did, however, get a solid performance from phantom sniper Alexander Semin, who was all over the ice despite not hitting the scoresheet. Hunter also saw better goaltending from Tomas Vokoun, who was great all night in stopping 28 of 30 shots. Both goals were of the odd variety, as Oshie's tally followed a shot than carummed off the crossbar and right onto his tape in front. D'Agostini's goal was just a great individual effort. 

On the blueline, John Carlson led the Caps with over 23 minutes of ice time. Of the forwards, Alex Ovechkin recorded just over 16 minutes, with Brooks Laich leading the group with over 19 minutes. Ovechkin did record an assist on Backstrom's opening tally. 

Backstrom has points in four of his past five games, recording three goals and three assists in that same span. 

With the loss, the Caps ended the month with a 5-8-1 mark after posting a 8-2-0 October. 

They hope to start December with a new lease on life with Hunter behind the bench and will undoubtedly be quick to try and forget the month that was November. 

Their first chance to do so will be on Thursday night when the host Sidney Crosby and the conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center, which will no doubt be rocking. 

 

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Comments

George Prax's picture

From what I saw on Twitter despite the low score this seemed like another fiasco. But keep in mind that Hunter probably didn't have time to implement any of his philosophies or his coaching style. I'm guessing the assistants are the same? He probably relied on them for this game.