Two special teams goals fueled a 2-1 Capitals lead after two periods. A wild final frame, which saw five goals scored, three by the Capitals, gave Washington the 5-3 win. Capitals are back in action on Tuesday when they begin their Western Canada swing in Calgary. Puck drop is just after 9:00 PM ET.
The Capitals took the games’s first lead with a power play goal from T.J. Oshie at 9:25 of the first, and held a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. The Blackhawks would tie things up early in the middle frame after a Capitals miscue in their own zone, but the Capitals would re-take the lead just 1:28 later with a short handed goal from Nic Dowd at 9:53 for a 2-1 lead at the second break. Alex Ovechkin would stretch the Capitals lead to 3-1 at 3:52 of the final frame, but the Blackhawks responded less than three minutes later to restore the single goal deficit. Patrick Kane would tie the game midway through the final frame, but Tom Wilson would respond less than two minutes later to give the Capitals a 4-3 lead at 11:47 of the third period. Lars Eller would add an empty netter for the 5-3 win.
The Blackhawks began winning the possession battle from the start of the second period. Blackhawks led in shot attempts 19-17, and shots on goal 14-12 after one period. The Blackhawks led 19-13 in shot attempts and 15-9 in shots on goal in the second period. Blackhawks out-attempted the Capitals 15-11 in the final frame.
For the game, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts 64-43 (CF 59.81% to 40.19%). The Blackhawks led in shots on goal 44-30 for the game.
The shot heat map for the game shows plenty of close-range high danger attempts by the Blackhawks.
Braden Holtby stopped 41 of 44 shots faced, for a .932 game save percentage. Holtby had little chance to stop two of the Blackhawks goals. He and the special teams were the difference in this game.
Carl Hagelin had a good game, recording two assists. Nic Dowd scored in the second straight game. Lars Eller had an empty net goal and an assist. Jonas Siegenthaler logged 21:53 of ice time. The 4th line was once again stellar.
As previously mentioned, special teams play was a major factor in this game. The Capitals were 1 for 1 on the power play. The Blackhawks were 0 for 5 and gave up a shorthanded goal to Nic Dowd.
With one power play goal tonight, the Capitals are now 6-1-0 in games this season where they record a power play goal.
- The Blackhawks won the faceoff battle 59-41%.
- The Capitals led in hits 38-24 for the game.
- Alex Ovechkin recorded seven hits tonight, tying Tom Wilson (Oct. 14 vs. Colorado) for the most hits in a single game by a Capital this season.
- Over their last three games, the Capitals’ power play has scored four goals on 10 opportunities (40 percent) and the penalty kill has killed off nine out of 10 opposing opportunities (90 percent).
- The Capitals blocked 31 shots against Chicago, a Washington team high this season and the second highest single-game total by a team this season.
- With a goal tonight, Alex Ovechkin extended his current point streak to seven games. Over his last seven games, Ovechkin has recorded nine points (5g, 4a). T.J. Oshie extended his current point streak to four games and has record five points (4g, 1a) over his last four games.
- John Carlson recorded an assist on Ovechkin’s goal, his 18th points (3g, 15a) in his 10th game. He becomes the third defenseman in NHL history to record 18 points in his team’s first 10 games (Bobby Orr, twice: 18; Paul Coffey: 20).
- Carlson has assists in seven straight games, trailing only Mike Green (eight games from Oct. 15 – Nov. 1, 2009) and Scott Stevens (eight games from Feb. 19 – March 6, 1988) for the longest assist streak by a Capitals’ defenseman.
By Jon Sorensen