ST. LOUIS — Jakub Vrana scored at 2:51 of overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams.
Vrana beat Jordan Binnington with a wrist shot to the upper corner for his first point in five career games against the Blues.
Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov also scored, and Braden Holtby made 21 saves for the Capitals.
Sammy Blais and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues, and Binnington made 31 saves.
The Blues started their title defence in style with Blais scoring on the first shot of the game just 53 seconds in. David Perron carried the puck below the right circle and feathered a pass between two defenders to setup Blais’ one-timer. Ryan O’Reilly got a secondary assist for his 500th career point.
Pietrangelo made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 7:55 of the first. Justin Faulk, playing in his first game for the Blues, set up the one-timer.
Ovechkin got the Capitals on the board with 4:23 left in the first. He entered the Blues’ zone, made a nifty move between three defenders and beat Binnington with a wrist shot.
Orlov tied it on a power play with 7:32 left in the second. He blasted a slap shot from above the right circle directly off of a faceoff.
The Blues raised their Stanley Cup banner during a pregame ceremony that featured a video of members of the team celebrating with the cup during the off-season and highlights of the post-season run. Players were announced individually and walked by the cup as they took the ice. Alexander Steen carried the Clarence Campbell trophy, O’Reilly carried the Conn Smythe trophy and Pietrangelo brought the Stanley Cup onto the ice and the Blues players took a lap around the ice with it. The cup was placed on a table and the players locked arms as the banner was displayed for the first time, before ascending to the rafters to Laura Branigan’s “Gloria,” which became the team’s theme song during its run from last in the league in January to Stanley Cup champion. … The Capitals placed G Pheonix Copley on waivers.
Capitals: At New York Islanders on Friday night.
Blues: Hosts Dallas on Saturday night.
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Joe Harris, The Associated Press