Capitals Win Fifth Straight, 7-3, In Chicago; Ovechkin Scores Hat Trick, Including 800th Career Goal

Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals saw their season-long winning streak extend to five  games after beating the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 7-3 at United Center on Tuesday night. Captain Alex Ovechkin scored two goals in the first period and another in the third to reach 800 in his NHL career.

The win lifted Washington just a point behind the New York Islanders, who have a game in hand on them, for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Charlie Lindgren made 26 saves in the victory, his fifth straight start.

Capitals’ Lines at Chicago

Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Evgeny Kuznetsov — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Aliaksei Protas — Anthony Mantha
Nicolas Aube-Kubel— Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Lindgren
Hunter Shepard

Scratched: LW Joe Snively, D Lucas Johansen

Injured: RW Connor Brown (ACL, missed 27th straight game, out indefinitely); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 31st, indefinite); RW Tom Wilson (ACL, 31st, indefinite); C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, 31st, indefinite); LW Beck Malenstyn (finger, 20th, week-to-week); G Darcy Kuemper (lower-body, fifth, day-to-day); D Martin Fehervary (lower-body, fifth, day-to-day); C Lars Eller (upper-body, first, day-to-day)

With Eller out, Protas filled in for him while Aube-Kubel drew into the lineup for the first time in 11 games. Gustafsson returned after missing one game while Johansen came out. Strome, who was not tendered a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent by Chicago on July 11 after spending parts of four seasons there, and Gustafsson, who played 273 games over five seasons in the Windy City (including 59 last season), returned to the United Center for the first time as visitors.

Chicago’s Lines

Sam Lafferty — Max Domi — Patrick Kane
Philipp Kurashev — Jonathan Toews — Taylor Raddysh
Jujhar Khaira — Jason Dickinson — Tyler Johnson
Colin Blackwell — MacKenzie Entwistle — Reese Johnson

Jack Johnson — Seth Jones
Jarred Tinordi — Connor Murphy
Jake McCabe — Ian Mitchell

Petr Mrazek
Arvid Soderblom

Scratched: D Caleb Jones, RW Andreas Athanasiou, LW Boris Katchouk

Injured: G Alex Stalock (concussion, 17th, indefinite)

First Period

Scoring

0:24, 1-0 Washington: Ovechkin turned around and buried one through the wickets of Soderblom after getting tangled up with Toews and Toews blocked Carlson’s wrist shot from the left dot. The goal marked Ovechkin’s 136th career game-opening tally, passing Jaromir Jagr for the most in NHL history. Ovechkin extends his goal streak to four games (five) with the 798th of his career and has 17 points (10 goals) in his last 13 games. It was Ovechkin’s 12th career goal in the opening minute of a game, third in NHL history (behind Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby – 14 – and Mark Messier – 13). and Carlson extended his assist streak to four games (five).

8:14, 2-0 (PPG): Ovechkin buried a bouncing puck into an open net from the side of the goal after Sheary whiffed on a shot and Ovechkin was on the door step for goal No. 799.

19:00, 2-1: Tyler Johnson spun around and wristed one into an open net to the top corner while Irwin and Lindgren fell after getting a feed from out high by McCabe.

Shots: 10-9 Washington

Other Notable Stats: Washington scored on the lone power play of the period but Chicago led 10-4 in hits and 7-4 in blocked shots.

Second Period

Scoring

4:56, 3-1: Van Riemsdyk, who won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2015, wristed a rebound into a wide open net from the low slot after Mrazek denied Ovechkin’s attempt on the backhand. Van Riemsdyk, who had just one tally in each of his first two seasons in Washington, has goals in back-to-back games and three this season. Ovechkin recorded his 127th career game with at least three points.

11:38, 3-2 (PPG): Toews backhanded a rebound off of Orlov in the crease and in at the side of the goal after Lindgren shut down Raddysh’s wrister from the slot with the five hole.

17:18, 4-2: Dowd wristed one top shelf glove-side after Hathaway followed up his own rebound, turned around at the goal-line, and flipped the puck to Dowd at the slot.

Shots: 24-22 Chicago (including 15-11 in the second)

Other Notable Stats: Chicago won 59% of the draws, scored once on their first two power plays, and led 14-13 in hits and 14-9 in blocked shots. Each team was on the board for eight takeaways.

Third Period

Scoring

6:34, 5-2: Ovechkin tucked a rolling puck into a wide open net at the goal crease after Mantha hit Jack Johnson behind the boards, got the puck, and fed him at the left post for the 800th goal of his NHL career. Kuznetsov drove the net but could not get a shot off before falling in the crease. It was also Ovechkin’s 20th goal of the season.

8:59: 6-2: Mantha ripped a wrister blocker-side on Mrazek after picking up the puck at the blueline and toe-dragged around Seth Jones in the high slot.

18:51, 6-3: Domi flew into the zone and followed up his wrist shot from the right dot in front after driving to the goal.

19:24, 7-3: Orlov blasted one to the top left corner by the blocker of Mrazek after the puck came to him at the point.

Shots: 30-29 Washington (9-5 in the third)

Other Notable Stats: Chicago won 61% of the faceoffs and scored once on three power plays. They also led 22-16 in hits and 21-14 in blocked shots. Washington led 11-10 in takeaways.

Next game: Thursday vs. Dallas Stars (7 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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6 Responses to Capitals Win Fifth Straight, 7-3, In Chicago; Ovechkin Scores Hat Trick, Including 800th Career Goal

  1. Anonymous says:

    Awfully quite now from all those fans that wanted this team to be gutted and a rebuild. You watched a team in a rebuild lose 7 to 3 and have lost 18 of the last 21. Yeah no thanks I would rather watch a team be competitive night in and night out and this team is finally getting healthy and playing good hockey. The schedule gets easier in the second half and yet they are only 4 back of 3rd in the metro and 1 back of a wild card spot. Mind you they still have to play the islanders 3 times and the penguins 2 more times.

    • KimRB says:

      So one win streak, and all of a sudden we’re Cup contenders? Here’s a number for you: The Caps have lost in the 1st round 4 consecutive years. No other Caps team has lost in the 1st round more than two years in a row.

      You may be willing to settle for mediocrity, but I’m not. Can we beat Carolina, or Jersey, or NYR, or the Islanders, or Pittsburgh, or Toronto, or, Boston, or Tampa, or Floridan the playoffs???? I doubt if we could, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong. The games have to be played. They don’t give away Cups for 5 game win streaks in December

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right they don’t give away a cup for a 5 game win streak in December. Nobody had us as cup contenders in 2017-2018 either. All you have to do is make the playoffs and anything can happen. Sorry you don’t want to watch meaningful May hockey. I would much rather have a team make the playoffs every year than miss the playoffs. Take for granted this organization has made the playoffs the past 9 years. I don’t think a lot of organizations can say they have done that. I guess you would rather watch a rebuild like the Blackhawks are doing. Hate to break it to you but that rebuild will be painful to watch and as long as Ovechkin is playing on this team that won’t happen anytime soon.

        • KimRB says:

          Yeah, missing the playoffs is a terrible thing. When you miss the playoffs you get a chance at drafting a franchise player, like Colorado, Tampa, ourselves, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, LA, and pretty much every Stanley Cup winning team has done in the salary cap Era. But you don’t ant another franchise player, do ya? Ovi will be around forever!

          Fallacy much? I never said I didn’t want to watch meaningful games in May. A rebuild is a big step in the direction of playing games in May. Without a rebuild you lose in April and you get 4 first round losses in a row, and 5, and 6, and 7…..

        • KimRB says:

          “Hate to break it to you but that rebuild will be painful to watch and as long as Ovechkin is playing on this team that won’t happen anytime soon.”

          Yeah, Leonsis said that. So the only thing that’s important to him is getting Ovi that record, not taking strides towards another Cup

          Keep drinking the Kool Aid. What flavor is it? Tropical Punch for Rockin’ the Red?

      • novafyre says:

        I have said before and still say that our Caps are fragile and we do not have prepared subs ready to step in. Caps staff have shown that they are uncomfortable with younger players and really don’t want to play them. If we can guarantee that our aged vets will play every game at 100% that’s fine. But we don’t have backup plans and I don’t see the Caps doing anything to create those plans. Answer is always just wait for the varsity team to come back together.

        Might be lucky as we were in 2018. I do not believe that we were the best team that year but we were good and lucky. This year, so far, we have not been lucky. Rubbing that rabbits foot might work. Then again, it might not. I expect more than a rub from Caps management and coaches and I don’t feel we are getting it.

        I don’t want a rebuild. But I do want a progressive move towards younger players to either act as productive subs or full time replacements. That means developing the players, using them, giving them game experience, and not just letting them sit in the stands or on the bench. It means working closely with Hershey. It means developing lines and strategies that take advantage of young strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. I just haven’t seen the Caps doing that.

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