Blackhawks Hold Off Capitals To Win 8-5; Four Defensemen Score For Washington

@Capitals.jpgPhoto: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals fell to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon in the Windy City by a score of 8-5, despite getting all five of their goals from defensemen. The loss put the Capitals back in third-place, though they are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for second in the division. The Blue Jackets lead 28-24 in regulation-overtime wins and just a point behind the New York Islanders for first, in the Metropolitan Division. Goaltender Braden Holtby made seven saves and Pheonix Copley made 14 saves in relief. The Capitals lost five consecutive games for the first time since 2014-15, head coach Barry Trotz’s first season as head coach. 

Capitals Lines at Blackhawks

Head coach Todd Reirden switched up the lines after four consecutive losses. Forward T.J. Oshie, captain Alex Ovechkin, and center Nicklas Backstrom were reunited on the top-line. Center Lars Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov swapped spots in the lineup, with Eller skating with forwards Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson. Forward Dmitrij Jaskin drew back into the lineup, skating on the third-line with Kuznetsov and forward Brett Connolly. Center Travis Boyd drew back into the lineup while center Nic Dowd came out. Forward Andre Burakovsky was demoted to the fourth-line. Forward Devante Smith-Pelly started the game with Ovechkin and Backstrom after being the victim of racial taunts the last time the Capitals were in Chicago.

Defensemen Michal Kempny and Dmitry Orlov swapped spots on defense.

First Period

Forward Brandon Saad opened the scoring 6:36 in powering past defenseman Madison Bowey, and finishing it by going high blocker on Holtby to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead.

Forward Patrik Kane sniped one from the left dot blocker side on Holtby 1:20 later to make it 2-0 Chicago and to extend his personal point streak to 10 games.

Defenseman Brooks Orpik threw the puck on net from the wall and it trickled past the blocker side of Delia to cut Chicago’s lead in half with 5:35 left in the period.

Orlov threw it into the Capitals net in front of Holtby 28 seconds later to restore the two-goal lead for Chicago. Center Jonathan Toews got credit for the goal.

Forward Chris Kunitz scored with 3:26 left but it got waved off because the net was up.

The Capitals led 14-9 in shots, 15-11 in hits, and won 64% of the draws in the first frame. They didn’t score on their lone power-play in the opening 20 minutes.

The Blackhawks led 6-2 in blocked shots and had only two giveaways while the Capitals had four.

Each team tallied three takeaways in the opening frame.

Second Period

Forward Alex DeBrincat pounded a wicked shot over Holtby’s glove 2:30 into the period. Holtby was replaced by goaltender Pheonix Copley after giving up four goals on 11 shots.

Orlov cut the lead in half as his shot from the wall went five-hole of Delia to cut the lead in half with 4:36 left in the second period.

The Capitals led 24-21 in shots, 26-19 in hits, and 10-8 in blocked shots after two.

The Blackhawks led 12-9 in second-period shots, 7-6 in takeaways, and won 56% of the faceoffs through 40 minutes.

Each team recorded seven giveaways and went 0-for-1 on the power-play in the first two periods.

Third Period

Defenseman John Carlson hammered a shot from the left dot and beat Delia high-glove side on the one-timer to snap his first goal in 11 games and his seventh of the season with 16:51 left to make it 4-3.

Kane added his second of the game sniping one from the left dot and squeaked it past the Copley’s glove on the power-play to restore the two-goal lead 36 seconds after Carlson scored.

Toews called his own number on a two-on-one with Strome to make it 6-3 with 12:40 left for his fourth point of the game.

Carlson scored his second of the game with a wrist shot from the right dot that went over the glove of Delia to cut the lead to 6-4 with 9:22 to go.


Defenseman Matt Niskanen sniped one past the blocker of Delia from the right dot with a screen in front of him to cut the lead to 6-5 with 6:05 left.

Toews beat Copley on a breakaway blockerside after Connolly turned it over. Toews dangled around Orlov to power to the net to cap off the hat trick with 5:41 to go.

Center Dylan Strome scored an empty-net goal to make it 8-5 with 1:49 left.

The Capitals led 39-28 in shots, including 15-7 in the final frame, and 33-25 in hits.

The Blackhawks led 9-6 in takeaways and won 53% of the faceoffs. They had eight giveaways while the Capitals had 10.

Each team recorded 15 blocked shots and got two power-plays, though Chicago took advantage on one of theirs, unlike the Capitals.

The Capitals next face the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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7 Responses to Blackhawks Hold Off Capitals To Win 8-5; Four Defensemen Score For Washington

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Its panic time…. 4 goals from D and none from F in a 5 goal outing… 8 against? not good

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