Facing a team with even or more point total for the 4th time in five games the Washington Capitals hosted the Central Division leading Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks however looked more like a cellar team tonight as the Caps shut them out 6-0 and won their 8th straight game. During this current 8-game winning streak the Caps have outscored their opponents 35-11, scoring four or more goals in six of them. Washington has won five of the last six against Chicago and five straight at home which includes the 2015 NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park.
The Caps started with center Jay Beagle’s fifth career goal in eight meetings against the Blackhawks. Beagle would score again later in the third to make six goals in eight meetings; his last two-goal game actually came against this Blackhawks team back on November 11th. Center Nicklas Backstrom would follow Beagle’s first goal 13 seconds later, scoring in his third straight game; he ended the night with two points. Wingers Brett Connolly, Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie each also scored a goal; Connolly’s was his second in three games, Wilson ended the night with a three- point game (1G, 2A) and his first multi-point game since February 9th of the 2015-16 season, and Oshie had a goal and an assist tonight. Eleven different Caps players each recorded a point tonight including center Lars Eller and defensemen Nate Schmidt who each assisted twice. Goalie Braden Holtby recorded a shutout on 24 saves for his sixth on the season, which leads the league. Holtby has not given up any even strength goals in his last five starts now.
Chicago was held scoreless but did have a goal wiped out in the 2nd period due to goalie interference by Marian Hossa. Winger Patrick Kane lead the Blackhawks with five shots on goal tonight. Starting goalie Corey Crawford recorded 25 saves but did get pulled in the middle of the 3rd period after giving up five goals. The sixth and final goal was given up by backup goalie Scott Darling.
One milestone for the Caps tonight was defensemen Karl Alzner playing his 500th straight game making him the 3rd defensemen since 1943-44 to achieve the milestone, he’s 5th among active players. The Caps will try to match their record nine straight wins from back on December 12-30 2015 on Sunday in Philadelphia. Game time will 1:00 PM/ET.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Keelan
Former High School and College athlete (football, Wesley College).