The Capitals stormed out of the gates to take a quick 2-0 lead and cruised to a 4-2 win Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. The win is the Capitals third straight, and improves their record to 11-7-3. The Capitals return to action Friday for an afternoon tilt with the Detroit Red Wings. Puck drop is 4PM ET.
T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov missed a third-straight game due to “upper body” injuries (concussions) sustained in Winnipeg on November 14. As a result, Reirden deployed lines similar to the previous three games. Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson made up the top line. Brett Connolly was promoted from the 4th line to the second line with Jakub Vrana and Lars Eller, Andre Burakovsky was demoted to the 3rd line with Travis Boyd and Devante Smith-Pelly and Chandler Stephenson was dropped to the 4th line with Nic Dowd and Dmitrij Jaskin.
The Caps would strike quick with a goal from Tom Wilson just 54 seconds into the contest and add a goal from Andre Burakovsky six minutes later forma 2-0 lead at the first intermission. The Caps would add a goal from Michal Kempny early in the middle frame before Brandon Saad got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard to make it 3-1 at the second intermission. The Blackhawks would cut the Caps lead to one early in the final frame bu Devante Smith-Pelly would get it right back to make it 4-2 midway through the final frame, and that would be the final.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (POSSESSION)
The Capitals jumped to an early 2-0 lead, and the imbalance in shot attempts reflects that. The Blackhawks led 21-10 in shot attempts and 14-12 in shots on goal, but the Capitals led 2-0 after first 20 minutes. The middle frame would conclude with the Caps leading 3-1. The Blackhawks led 20-18 in shot attempts and 10-9 in shots on goal for the second period. Chicago would it-attempt Washington 20-9 in the final frame and led 15-6 in SOG, but the Capitals stood strong for the 4-2 win.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (LOCATION)
Braden Holtby had another good game, stopping 37 of 39 shots he faced for a .949 save percentage. Holtby improves his record to 7-5-2, with a 2.99 GAA and a .909 save percentage on the season. Corey Crawford stopped 23 of 27 for a save percentage of .852%
Capitals on the power play:
The Capitals entered the game with the league’s fourth best power play at 29.7%. The Blackhawks entered the game with the league’s 27th best penalty kill at 74.6%. The Capitals would go 1 for 3 on the power play in this one.
Capitals on the penalty kill
The Blackhawks entered the game with the league’s 29th best power play at 14.1%. The Capitals entered the game with the league’s 29th ranked penalty kill at 73.3%. The Blackhawks would go 0 for 3 on the power play in this game.
The Capitals entered the game with the league’s 20th best faceoff winning percentage at 48.9%. The Blackhawks had the league’s 17th best face off winning percentage at 49.8%. The Blackhawks won the battle at the dot 51-49%. Chandler Stephenson was 4 for 4, Nicklas Backstrom was 9 for 21, Lars Eller was 8 for 16, Devante Smith-Pelly was 0 for 2, Nic Dowd was 0 for 2, Tom Wilson was 0 for 1 and Travis Boyd was 6 for 9.
Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey we’re both above 14 minutes again, a good sign. Unfortunately they were burned for a goal again, the second straight game. this should I,prove over time. Other than that, Andre Burakovsky and Michal Kempny led the team with three shots each.