Chicago Blackhawks (8-8-5 21pts) v. Washington Capitals (10-7-3 23pts)
The Washington Capitals return home from a four game road trip that saw them go 3-1-0, and are undefeated in their past two games looking to extend that to three games. Meanwhile the Chicago Blackhawks are fresh off of a shocking coaching change and are beginning a three game road trip while being 2-01 in their past three games after going through an eight game losing streak. Both teams will be looking to continue their winning ways.
For the Capitals, Braden Holtby will be making his first start in goal since going down with an upper body injury before the 4 game road trip. Also the Capitals will still be without TJ Oshie (Concussion) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (Upper Body) for the third straight game.
For the Blackhawks, Corey Crawford will be starting in goal, and veterans Chris Kunitz and Brandon Manning are both healthy scratches tonight.
Brandon Saad — Jonathan Toews — Patrick Kane
Nick Schmaltz — Artem Anisimov — Alex DeBrincat
Alexandre Fortin – David Kampf — Dominik Kahun
John Hayden — Marcus Kruger – Andreas Martinsen
Duncan Keith — Brent Seabrook
Erik Gustafsson — Henri Jokiharju
Gustav Forsling — Jan Rutta
Scratched: Chris Kunitz, Luke Johnson, Brandon Manning
Alex Ovechkin — Nicklas Backstrom — Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly
Andre Burakovsky — Travis Boyd — Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitrij Jaskin — Nic Dowd — Chandler Stephenson
Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny — John Carlson
Christian Djoos — Madison Bowey
Scratched: Jonas Siegenthaler
Injured: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body), T.J. Oshie (Concussion), Brooks Orpik (Knee Surgery)
Capitals Goal – :54 – Tom Wilson (2) from Alex Ovechkin (9) and Nicklas Backstrom (18)
Capitals Penalty – 2:10 – Travis Boyd 2 minutes for Tripping
Blackhawks Penalty – 4:37 – Gustav Forsling 2 minutes for Tripping
Capitals PPG – 6:36 – Andre Burakovsky (3) from Jakub Vrana (6) and Matt Niskanen (7)
Capitals Penalty – 7:10 – Nic Dowd 2 minutes for Hooking
Blackhawks Penalty – 19:14 – Brandon Saad 2 minutes for Elbowing
End of 1st – CHI – 0 WAS – 2
Shots 14 12
Faceoffs 09 07
Hits 02 04
PP 0/2 1/1 *2nd in progress
The Capitals had a great start to the game but they cooled off a little bit after their second goal. The Capitals are doing a good job with zone possession, but took a couple of bad penalties that have let the Blackhawks get a groove into this game. The Capitals are creating some really good chances, and need to keep plugging away.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to play more disciplined, and stay out of the penalty box. Also the Capitals need to play with a bit more structure in their own zone and limit the Blackhawks scoring chances.
Blackhawks Penalty – 3:02 – Martinsen 2 minutes for High Sticking
Capitals Penalty – 3:14 – Alex Ovechkin 2 minutes for Slashing
Capitals Goal – 9:28 – Michal Kempny (1) from Jakub Vrana (7) and Lars Eller (8)
Blackhawks Goal – 11:37 – Brandon Saad (7) from Jonathan Toews (9) and Patrick Kane (8)
End of 2nd – CHI – 1 WAS – 3
Shots 24 21
Faceoffs 17 18
Hits 04 06
PP 0/3 1/3
This was a solid period for the Capitals, as they were able to play an overall good period and they limited the scoring chances by the Blackhawks. The Capitals also utilized the powerplay very well and having Tom Wilson and Lars Eller on that first unit really has changed the dynamic and feels more opened up.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to go for the jugular and choke out the Blackhawks in the third period. This also needs to be the best period for the Capitals too as we know how the Capitals have been with their turtling play to “not lose” and they can’t do that against a hungry Blackhawks team.
Blackhawks Goal – 5:23 – Erik Gustafsson (2) from Artem Anisimov (8) and Nick Schmaltz (7)
Capitals Goal – 7:12 – Devante Smith-Pelly (4) from Travis Boyd (4) and John Carlson (17)
End of 3rd – CHI – 2 WAS – 4
Shots 39 27
Faceoffs 28 27
Hits 06 08
PP 0/3 1/3
An overall solid effort by the Capitals in this win over the Blackhawks. The Caps struck early and when the Blackhawks responded with a goal of their own, the Capitals would score to regain their two goal advantage. The Capitals also played a solid defensive game, but still made some mistakes in the third period that could have proved costly, but Braden Holtby was at the top of his game, and kept the Capitals in the game when they needed him to.
Washington (11-7-3 25pts) v. Detroit (9-9-2 20pts)
Chicago (8-9-5 21pts) @ Tampa Bay (14-6-1 29pts)
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