Three Power-Play Goals Lead Blackhawks Past Capitals, 5-4 (OT), In Backstrom’s Return; Ovechkin Ties Anderchyuk For Power-Play Goals Record

Photo: Bill Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 5-4 in overtime at United Center on Wednesday night. The point kept the Capitals two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes (who have two games in hand) and New York Rangers (will have played same amount of games heading into Thursday) for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 23 saves in the loss.

Capitals’ Lines at Blackhawks

Graphic: @Capitals

With center Evgeny Kuznetsov out, Lars Eller replaced him on the top-line while center Nicklas Backstrom made his season debut after missing the first 28 games due to a hip injury. Left-wing Carl Hagelin dropped down two lines while right-wing T.J. Oshie and center Michael Sgarbossa both bumped up one. Center Nic Dowd and defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk both returned after each missed four games with COVID-19 and slid into their normal lineup spots. Right-wing Brett Leason returned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears prior to the game.

Scratched: LHD Dennis Cholowski, LHD Matt Irwin

Injured: RW Tom Wilson (lower-body, missed second game, day-to-day), LW Anthony Mantha (shoulder, 19th, indefinite)

COVID-19 protocol: Kuznetsov (first), RW Garnet Hathaway (third)

First Period

The Capitals led 13-6 in shots, 7-5 in blocked shots, 4-3 in takeaways, 13-5 in hits, and had one giveaway while the Blackhawks had four in the first.

The Blackhawks won 55% of the draws and did not score on two power plays through 20 minutes.

Second Period

Captain Alex Ovechkin wristed a one-timer over the blocker of Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the left dot after getting a cross-ice feed from right-wing T.J. Oshie 3:36 into the period. Backstrom was credited with the secondary assist in his return to the lineup. Ovechkin tied Dave Anderchyuk for the NHL record in power-play goals with the 274th of his career and extended his point-streak to six games (two goals, eight points). The goal was Ovechkin’s 25th of his career against Fleury, now the most he has scored against one goalie in the regular season.

Left-wing Alex DeBrincat buried a cross-ice pass from right-wing Patrick Kane after getting the puck from up top off of the faceoff win to tie it on a five-on-three man advantage at 13:55. Kane earned the 700th helper of his NHL career on the play.

Center Philipp Kurashev tapped in the puck through the five-hole of Samsonov after center Kirby Dach sent the puck to him from the side 18 seconds later.

Right-wing MacKenzie Entwistle tucked in a rebound in front after left-wing Brandon Hagel’s wrister from the dot was blocked by Van Riemsdyk in front of Samsonov for the Blackhawks’ third goal in 34 seconds.

Right-wing Daniel Sprong picked the puck up at the side of the net after center Lars Eller gave it to him from behind, turned around, and wristed a wicked shot to the top corner from down low to get the Capitals back within one with 41.3 seconds left. Eller extended his point-streak to four games (two goals, four points).

The Capitals led 32-18 in shots (including 19-12 in the second), 22-11 in hits, 8-6 in takeaways, had five giveaways while the Blackhawks had eight, and scored once on their two power plays through two periods.

The Blackhawks led 12-9 in blocked shots, won 58% of the faceoffs, and went two-for-four on the man advantage in the first 40 minutes.

Third Period

Samsonov glided across the crease to stone Ettwhistle with the arm after getting a cross-ice pass from Kubalik a little less than five minutes in.

Eller backhanded a shot past the glove of Fleury while falling down after getting hit by defenseman Connor Murphy and Oshie chipped the puck to him with 8:03 to go. The 32-year-old has three goals during a three-game goal-streak and five goals and 10 points over his last 11 games. Oshie recorded his third multi-point game of the season with his second primary assist of the night.

DeBrincat finished one down below the dot to finish a tic-tax-toe passing play between him, Hagel, and center Dylan Strome to retake the lead for the Blackhawks and score the team’s third power-play goal of the game with five minutes left.

With three seconds left, left-wing Conor Sheary backhanded one through the five-hole of Fleury in the slot after Ovechkin shoveled a pass to him from the half-wall to tie it. Ovechkin earned his 15th multi-point effort in 29 games this season and has a league-leading 46 points.

The Capitals led 45-26 in shots (including 13-8 in the third period), 29-20 in hits, 11-9 in takeaways, had six giveaways while the Blackhawks had nine, and scored once on their three power plays.

The Blackhawks led 16-14 in blocked shots, won 63% of the faceoffs, and went three-for-six on the man advantage.

Overtime

Defenseman Caleb Jones tapped in a rebound off of center Kirby Dach’s shot on a two-on-one rush to win it for the Blackhawks 1:21 into the extra session.

The Blackhawks led 2-1 in overtime shots but the Capitals led 46-28 in total shots.

Next game: at Winnipeg Jets on Friday (8 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

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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1 Response to Three Power-Play Goals Lead Blackhawks Past Capitals, 5-4 (OT), In Backstrom’s Return; Ovechkin Ties Anderchyuk For Power-Play Goals Record

  1. Anonymous says:

    how bad can the zebras possibly be

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