Matt D’Agostini netted the game-winner and Jaroslav Halak made 18 saves as the St. Louis Blues spoiled Dale Hunter’s debut with a 2-1 victory over the host Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
T.J. Oshie added his seventh goal for the Blues, who improved to 8-1-2 under new coach Ken Hitchcock.
Hunter, who served as a team captain in Washington for five seasons and has his number retired in the Verizon Center, was making his NHL coaching debut after Bruce Bodreau was fired on Monday.
Washington took an early lead on Nicklas Backstrom’s eighth tally midway through the first period, but the Blues got that back just over five minutes later.
The Capitals failed to clear in their own zone and David Backes grabbed the turnover. Alex Steen lined up a slap shot from the high slot that bounced off the cross bar but Oshie got the rebound and stuffed it past Tomas Vokoun.
D’Agostini gave them to lead at the 8:54 mark of the second period. The 25-year old forward ripped a slap shot from the right point. Vokoun made the initial save but the rebound squirted away. D’Agostini wrapped around the goal and tapped his sixth tally into the empty net.
The Capitals matched a season-low with 19 shots on goal.