The Washington Capitals downed the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. The win improves the Capitals record to 11-7-3 on the season. The Capitals return to action Friday afternoon when they host the Detroit Red Wings. Puck drop is 4:00 PM.
The Caps struck quickly with a goal from Tom Wilson 54 seconds into the contest and added a power play goal from Andre Burakovsky for a 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.
Braden Holtby (6-5-2, 3.07 GAA, .906 sv%) started in goal for the Capitals. Cory Crawford (5-6-1, 2.44 GAA, .922 sv%) started between the pipes for the Blackhawks. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Jonas Siegenthaler was the healthy scratch.
The Capitals struck quickly with a beautiful tic-tac goal finished by Tom Wilson just 54 seconds into the contest. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were credited with the assists.
The Capitals would quickly extend their lead to 2-0 with a power play goal from Andre Burakovsky at 6:36 of the opening frame. The goal was setup by a beautiful pass from Jakub Vrana. Jakub Vrana and Matt Niskanen were credited with the helpers.
The first period would end with the Caps lead 2-0. The Blackhawks led in shots on goal (SOG) 14-12. The Capitals were 1 for 2 and the Blackhawks 0 for 2 on the power play.
The Capitals made it 3-0 early in the middle frame with a blast from the point by Michal Kempny at 9:28 of the second period. Jakub Vrana and Lars Eller were credited with the assists.
The Blackhawks would quickly answer with a goal from Brandon Saad at 11:37 of the second period.
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.
The Blackhawks would cut the Capitals lead to one with a goal from Erik Gustafsson at 5:23 of the final frame.
But the Caps would get it right back with a goal from Devante Smith-Pelly at 7:12 of the final frame, making it 4-2. Travis Boyd and John Carlson were credited with the assists.
That would be the final. Take it away Chuck Brown.
- The NHL box score is here.
- Devante Smith-Pelly scored his fourth of the season and his second in his last three games. Smith-Pelly had seven goals in 75 games last season.
- With John Carlson’s assist on Smith-Pelly’s goal, he has passed Sergei Gonchar (272) for sole possession of fourth place among Capitals defensemen in franchise history.
- Nicklas Backstrom recorded an assist on Wilson’s goal. He now sits at 823 career points (215g, 608a), three shy of passing Peter Bondra (825) for second place on the Capitals’ franchise scoring list.
- The Capitals have recorded two goals in the opening period in two straight periods for the second time this season (Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 vs. Boston and Pittsburgh, respectively) and have done so three times in the last five games.
- Washington leads the all time series 44-42-11-1, and
- Washington has won eight of their last 10 meetings against the Blackhawks.
- With Michal Kempny scoring against the Chicago Blackhawks and Lars Eller scoring against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 19, in two straight games the Capitals have had players score a goal against their most recent former team.
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT