Alexander Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season and added two assists and Capitals goalie Braden Holtby turned aside 29 shots as Washington beat the slumping Blues 4-1 at Scottrade Center. The Blues lost their third in a row for the first time all season and now have just a two-point lead over Colorado in the Central Division after the Avs beat Edmonton 4-1.
Maxim Lapierre scored for the Blues. Ryan Miller, who beat the Capitals 2-1 in a shootout twice this season with the Buffalo Sabres, stopped just 18 shots in the loss. Captain David Backes missed the second half of the game with what Coach Ken Hitchcock said is a lower-body injury after Backes was struck by a slap shot from Alexander Steen. He is listed as day-to-day.
Ovechkin’s 50th of the season gave him five 50-goal seasons for his career, coming off a one-timer from the left circle with 2:06 left in the first period that gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead on the powerplay.
Ovechkin tied former Blues star Brett Hull, his father Bobby Hull, Steve Yzerman, Phil Esposito and Pavel Bure for sixth all-time in the NHL in 50-goal seasons.