Washington Capitals at St. Louis Blues p. New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers p. Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks p. Colorado Avalanche at Pittsburgh Penguins p.
The game is the first of a five-game road swing for Washington who have now won three straight. Here is how the Caps beat the Blackhawks.
Special teams Washington held a lead at the end of two periods with one power play goal and one shorthanded goal. Chicago was firing pucks at the net from everywhere with 84 total shot attempts for the game at 5-on The Caps did not appear to be getting outplayed, but clearly Chicago was getting more pressure at even strength.
The special teams definitely gave the Caps the edge with one power play goal while yielding none to the Blackhawks.
Great work on the power play This is how you draw it up. Alex Ovechkin came charging in on Jonathan Toews to force a turnover off the faceoff. Nicklas Backstrom chipped the puck into the corner away from the penalty killers. Evgeny Kuznetsov won a puck battle with Duncan Keith to take possession of the puck.
Oshie then came charging into the slot for the pass from Kuznetsov and fired the shot high glove side for the goal. That was a beautiful all-around play by the top unit.
Just one minute later, Chandler Stephenson was given a double-minor for high-sticking Kirby Dach. Instead, it proved to be the turning point for Washington.
Patrick Kane turned the puck over on the power play and Carl Hagelin picked it up and was off to the races, sparking a 2-on-1 with Nic Dowd. Hagelin made the pass to Dowd who fired a shot.
Chicago was given the double-minor power play exactly one minute after tying the game. Just 28 seconds after that, the Caps retook momentum with the shorthanded goal.
Washington dominated most of the game, but a Patrick Kane goal in the third period tied the game at 3 and once again, momentum seemed to be entirely in Chicago's favor.
Once again, the Caps responded. Lars Eller took the puck in the offensive zone, wheeled around behind the net and fired a puck on the sharp angle at Crawford.
He made the save, but it went right to Hagelin. He centered the puck to Wilson who roofed it into the net for the game-winning tally.
Wilson's goal came less than two minutes after Kane had tied it at 3. Carlson collected it and immediately fired it on the first touch cross-ice to Ovechkin for the one-timer.
Braden Holtby Chicago was throwing a lot of rubber around in this one. They finished with 84 total shot attempts. Only 44 of those attempts made it on net, but Holtby was brilliant and turned aside 41 of those shots. Again he tracked the puck well in a game in which the Blackhawks were showing off their puck-moving skills with great passing plays and a lot of shots.
Holtby looks much improved after his brief reset and now has strung together two strong starts in a row.