Caps lose Hunter's debut to Blues

WASHINGTON (AP) - Dale Hunter's NHL coaching career began with a thud Tuesday night as Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals struggled again in a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

T.J. Oshie and Matt D'Agostini scored, Jaroslav Halak made 18 saves, and the Blues held Ovechkin without a shot on goal for two periods to win their fourth straight game and improve to 8-1-2 under Ken Hitchcock.

Nicklas Backstrom got the lone goal for the Capitals, whose attack was as ineffective under Hunter as it had been recently under fired coach Bruce Boudreau. Washington was outshot 30-19 by the stingiest defense in the NHL.

Ovechkin supplied the assist on Backstrom's first-period goal, but the two-time league MVP's first shot on goal came with 18:14 to play.