Washington At Chicago Preview: Capitals Tangle With The Blackhawks On Sunday

Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 2.06.20 PM.pngPhoto: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After defeating the Chicago Blackhawks both times they faced them in preseason play, the Washington Capitals are back at United Center for a regular-season rematch on Sunday, and kick off a five-game road trip. Washington currently sits second in the Metropolitan Division and sixth in the league with twelve points. Action from the Windy City begins at 7:00 P.M. ET on NHL Network and NBC Sports Washington.

Capitals

The Capitals were victorious Friday night as they won 5-2 against the New York Rangers. They closed out a three-game homestand at 2-1 and improved to 5-2-2. Last season, Washington secured a 4-2 win over Chicago on November 21 at Capital One Arena but fell 8-5 at United Center on February 20. The Capitals have a record of 44-43-1 against the Blackhawks. In addition, the team has gone 3-1-0 on the road this season.

Defenseman John Carlson leads the Capitals with an incredible 17 points. Three of Carlson’s 14 assists came during Friday’s win over the Rangers. Forward T.J. Oshie has six goals for Washington with captain Alex Ovechkin just one goal shy of that. It has been seven months since Michal Kempny was on the ice and in the lineup officially. In his first game back from injury, the Czech defenseman picked up his first goal of the season.

Forward Richard Panik is week-to-week with an upper-body injury after a nasty second-period collision with defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler during Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was placed on long-term injured reserve on Friday morning, but will not need surgery. Siegenthaler was a game-time decision in the Capitals’ tilt with the Rangers and did play.

Saturday morning, the Capitals re-assigned defenseman Martin Fehervary to the AHL’s Hershey Bears after recalling him and forward Travis Boyd on Friday morning. Fehervary would have joined the lineup if Siegenthaler was not able to play.

Goaltender Braden Holtby is expected to start Sunday night’s game, according to Head Coach Todd Reirden. He holds a record of 2-1-2, save percentage of .862, and has a goals-against average of 3.83. In Friday’s victory, the netminder made 26 saves, allowed two goals, and had a .929 save percentage. Against the Blackhawks, Holtby is 8-3-0, which includes a .913 save percentage and 2.88 goals-against average.

Improving their power play, the Capitals are now 10th in the league with a 25% efficiency and sit 11th in the NHL with an 83.3% efficient penalty kill. Oshie has recorded three power play goals for the Capitals.

Blackhawks

Chicago finished the 2018-19 season with 84 points. They went 36-34-12 and finished sixth in the Western Conference’s Central Division and 20th in the league. This season, the Blackhawks sit fifth in the Central Division and 25th overall with five points. They defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Friday at United Center and are now 2-2-1. Sunday night’s battle with the Capitals is the fifth game in a seven-game homestand for Chicago. They have a 2-1-1 record at home this season and a history of 44-41-3 against Washington.

Forward Patrick Kane leads the team in points (7) and assists (5). Kane and forwards Alex Debrincat, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, and Alexander Nylander all lead with two goals each.

Blackhawks’ goaltender, Robin Lehner, has gone 1-0-1 in two games played. His goals-against average is 2.46 and he has a .931 save percentage. In Friday’s win over the Blue Jackets, he made 37 saves, allowed two goals, and posted a save percentage of .949. Chicago’s other netminder, Corey Crawford, has a 1-2-0 record thus far. His last start came on October 14 when the ‘Hawks hosted the Edmonton Oilers in a 3-1 win. Crawford has a save percentage of .900, 3.41 goals-against average, and has allowed 10 goals in three games played.

Behind the Capitals on power play rankings, the Blackhawks are 23.1% effective on the man-advantage, and 25th in the league when a man down at 70.6%. Debrincat’s two goals have come on the power play. He scored his latest during the win over Columbus on Friday. Shaw has 10 penalty minutes, six of which came during his last two games.

 

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is a fiction writer based out of the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area and an online student attending Full Sail University. She got her start in the entertainment industry at age seven as an actress. At the young age of nine, Della wrote a psychological thriller short story which sparked her interest in creative writing. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for sports. In her spare time, Della enjoys photography, traveling, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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1 Response to Washington At Chicago Preview: Capitals Tangle With The Blackhawks On Sunday

  1. Pingback: Top Shelf T.J. : T.J. Oshie Extends Team Lead in Goals With First Period Power Play Tally | NoVa Caps

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