The Capitals entered this afternoon’s contest riding a season-long four-game losing streak. This one started much the same, as a porous Capitals defense gave up two goals in an 80-second span of the opening frame, and four goals in the first 22:30 of play. All against the worst team in the NHL. The Capitals would fight back, but it was too little too late and as a result, lost their fifth straight game, this time 8-5.
The Blackhawks struck first with two quick goals in the first eight minutes of play. Brooks Orpik would close the gap with a tally late in the opening frame, but the ‘Hawks would get it right back to make it 3-1 at the first intermission. The Blackhawks would stretch the lead to 4-1 before Dmitry Orlov found the back of the net, making it 4-2 after 40 minutes of play. John Carlson would cut the Hawks lead to one, but Chicago responded less than a minute later to make it 5-3. The Blackhawks would make it 6-3 before John Carlson scored his second of the game, midway through the final frame. Matt Niskanen would cut the Hawks lead to 6-5 with seven minutes remaining in the game. The Blackhawks would once again answer, and add an empty net goal for the 8-5 win.
Evgeny Kuznetsov was demoted to the third line center position, with Lars Eller moving up to center the second line position. T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson flipped LW wing positions on the top two lines. Dmitrij Jaskin returned to the lineup, this time at RW on the third line with Kuznetsov.
Scratches: Jonas Siegenthaler, Nic Dowd and Chandler Stephenson were all healthy scratches.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (POSSESSION)
The Blackhawks led 3-1 after 20 minutes, but it didn’t look that way statistically. Shot attempts were tied 19-19. The Capitals led in shots on goal (SOG) 13-8. The Blackhawks held a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes. They led in shot attempts 17-10 and 12-9 in SOG in the second period. The Capitals made a push at the end of the game, and as a result, out-attempted the Blackhawks 23-12 and 15-7 in SOG. For the game, the Capitals outattempted the Blackhawks 52-49 and 35-29 in SOG.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (DIFFERENTIAL)
SHOT ATTEMPTS (LOCATION)
Braden Holtby was replaced by Pheonix Copley after the Blackhawks 4th goal. Holtby made 7 saves on 11 shots for a .636 game save percentage in 22:30 of ice time. Copley would stop 14 of 17 for an .824 game save percentage in 36:41 of ice time. The Blackhawks Collin Delia stopped 34 of 39 for a .872 game save percentage.
The Capitals were 0 for 2 and the Blackhawks were 0 for 1 on the power play.
The Blackhawks won the faceoff battle 53-47% (33 of 62). Nicklas Nackstrom was 11 for 17, Lars Eller was 9 for 14, Tom Wilson was 1 for 3, Travis Boyd was 3 for 13, T.J. Oshie was 1 for 4 and Evgeny Kuznetsov was 4 for 11.
- John Carlson has scored his second goal of the game. That marks Carlson’s third career two goal game and his first since Dec. 23, 2016 versus the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Brooks Orpik scores the Capitals’ opening goal. That’s his second goal in his 21st game this season and the 18th goal of his career.
- Dmitry Orlov scores his third goal of the year. Since 2015, Orlov’s 107 points (27g, 80a) rank first in the NHL among Russian born defensemen.
- Matt Niskanen’s goal marks his sixth of the season, one shy of tying his single season high since joining Washington in 2014-15 (2017-18: seven goals).
- All five Capitals goals were scored by defensemen.
- Washington last lost five in a row between Oct. 26 and Nov. 4* in 2014.