In a much anticipated Sunday afternoon game between two powerhouse clubs in the NHL thus far this season it turned out to be a game just as exciting as any other game this season which I am sure will make NBC happy.
The game started off with some excellent end to end action with Toews scoring the Hawks first goal on a great feed by Hammer. Then the drama began, Campbell skating back to get the puck behind his own net with Ovechkin in hot pursuit shoved Soupy into the boards causing an unknown injury. Ovechkin was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. I feel the penalty should have been no more then a double minor but with the officiating as mediocre as it has been all season who could predict what would happen for a call. At one point Ovechkin was sitting in the box and then after a few minutes of the bobblehead referees having a meeting to decide what would be best decision decided to give Ovechkin the boot. I do not expect any suspension for Ovechkin and I believe the removal from the game and 5 minute penalty will be enough.
Toews tallied to score another goal on the powerplay to give the hometown Hawks a 2-0 lead on the top team in the NHL. Moving to the second period Madden tipped in a precision pass from Duncan Keith to move Chicago up by 3. The second period ended with a melee with players from each team falling all over the ice pushing and shoving. The end result gave the Capitals a powerplay to start the final frame with.
All seemed well for the Hawks as they got through the 2nd period unscathed after they have had some serious second period issues this season being outplayed and outscored a lot of times in the middle frame. This had to give them some confidence going into the 3rd period. They managed to kill off the penalty to Fraser early which one would think the confidence was through the roof now right? Perhaps, but something not so uncommon of late happened to the Hawks.
Brent Seabrook ( who played very well today) went to clear the puck out of his own zone with a simple clear up high only to have the puck take an awkward kick off the glass and send the Hawks scrambling in their own zone. This ended up with Jordan Hendry taking a double minor for high sticking. 5 on 4 for the caps for 4 minutes, you know that is trouble even without Ovechkin and to make things even worse Fraser gets called for a mystery high stick to give the Caps a 5 on3 for an extended period of time. Niemi made some outstanding heroic saves but it was only a matter of time until Laich put the Capitals on the board for the first time and definitely not the last time today. Backstrom scored shortly after and only 13 seconds after that Eric Fehr tied the game up sending Hawks nation into complete disbelief and shock.
Chicago held on to send it to overtime only to have the highly skilled Backstrom end the game with a goal after the Hawks made a nice early push in overtime. Capitals 4 Hawks 3.
This was an exceptionally tough loss for Chicago as the prior game against the Flyers gave up 2 goals in 2 minutes with the final goal to win the game for Philadelphia came with 2 seconds on the clock. Obviously a very similar situation happened in today’s matchup. This is not a good habit to get into for obvious reasons but can people say it’s now in the heads of the hawks players and fans that there will always be one period of poor play per game to let the opposition back in? One would hope not but hockey nation will soon find out.
- Marian Hossa was not in the line up due to an undisclosed upper body injury
-Kim Johnsson was also not in the line up due to the same issues as Hossa.
- Niemi was not tested early but was heroic from the middle of the 2nd period on making remarkable saves.
- Seabrook upped his game as expected and played very well
-Chicago played 40 minutes of very solid hockey until the final frame. Had 20 shots through the first 2 periods and outplayed Washington handily only to get 1 shot on goal in the third. We all know the game is a 60 minute effort and unfortunately for the Hawks the Capitals just needed 20 minutes to tie the game and send it to OT to win it.
A frequent reader (Scott M.) emailed me a few days ago saying Chicago has an extremely tough month of March to play and he could not be more correct. Chicago is 3-3-1 in the past 7 games and with some solid defensive and composure they could have easily added 2 wins to that record and subtracted 2 losses against solid clubs in Philly and Washington.
Just a couple shout-outs to some frequent readers and thanks for the emails, twitter replies, facebook messages and some comments on the site.
-Scotty M, Keith T, Ms.Blackhawks, LexxC, Malloryallace, Kimberly, 1blackhawkfan, and David D, Jessers25, Tinao37, sportsnutstu, and Sheri M.
Thanks for reading
About the Author
Written by Trent Kondo
An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )