The Blackhawks came into Friday night’s game against the Capitals with a seven-game win streak on the line. Marian Hossa and Alex Ovechkin made a little Hawks history as well.
Hossa vs Ovechkin tonight is first battle of 500-goal players (involving #Blackhawks) since Bondra vs Sakic (Avalanche) on 3/1/2007
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) November 12, 2016
The Blackhawks also came into Friday’s game without Artem Anisimov or Tyler Motte, however. And it showed.
With Marcus Kruger elevated to a second line role, the Hawks struggled to put together consistent pressure on Washington throughout the night. And when they did have good chances, Braden Holtby was on point.
Evgeny Kuznetsov went to the box at 5:38 and gave Chicago the first power play of the evening. Unfortunately, the first goal of the game was scored while the Hawks had the advantage. Jay Beagle scored a short-handed goal to give Washington an early 1-0 lead.
That lead would only last 22 seconds, however, as Brian Campbell would answer quickly.
Beagle came into the game with only one goal on the young season, but scored his second on Friday night at 14:44 into the first period to give the Capitals a lead (again).
That would be the extent of the scoring for the first… and second periods. Through 40 minutes, each team had 21 shots on net.
During the second period there was a brief period of uncertainty for Hawks fans when Corey Crawford disappeared to the dressing room. Scott Darling entered the game for only 78 seconds but was immediately tested a couple times, including on a breakaway opportunity for TJ Oshie. But Crawford game back and finished the game.
In the third, Ryan Hartman was rewarded for a strong performance by getting a few shifts with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane; he replaced Nick Schmaltz on the top line for a bit.
Unfortunately, a game we hyped as a match-up of elite goaltenders proved to be precisely that – and Washington’s second goal appeared to be all the cushion the visiting Caps needed.
Coach Joel Quenneville pulled Crawford for the extra attacker with 2:11 left in regulation but the Blackhawks weren’t able to get a clean shot on net. Quenneville used his timeout with 47.5 seconds left in regulation after an icing. After another icing, the Hawks were able to control the puck in the offensive zone and Hossa put home a loose puck to tie the game with 22.3 seconds left.
Crawford stopped 24 of 26 (plus Darling’s one save) while Holtby faced 34, stopping 32 in regulation.
With Hossa’s late heroics, the Blackhawks still have not lost a game in regulation since Oct. 21 against the Blue Jackets.
Two minutes into the overtime, Quenneville sent Kane out with Brent Seabrook and Vince Hinostroza. A pass from Kane to Seabrook didn’t connect and the Caps went the other way. Hinostroza was trying to get back but was upended by Oshie, who fell over himself, and Washington converted a 2-on-Crawford to pick up a 3-2 win. Marcus Johansson scored the game-winner.
Without Anisimov, Toews had to do the heavy lifting at the dot. Chicago’s captain won 14 of 22 faceoffs; Kruger won nine of 15 and Dennis Rasmussen won two of eight. Toews and Kane combined for only one shot on goal, though.
Hossa had an assist on Campbell’s goal to give him two points on the night. Michal Kempny led Chicago with three hits and was one of four Hawks with two blocked shots. Jordin Tootoo was the only Chicago skater under ten minutes of ice time. Seabrook led the Hawks with six shots on net.
The Hawks’ final home game before the Circus Trip is Sunday evening against red-hot Montreal.