The visiting Washington Capitals, who has lost their previous five games, got all the offense they needed in the final five minutes of the second period and escaped the United Center with a 3-2 victory.
The Hawks dropped their third straight at home for the first time since 2012 in spite of dominating much of the action for the first 35 minutes of the game.
Brandon Saad scored his second of the season and first in eight games; he also led the team with five shots on net and was credited with one hit and one takeaway in 16:26. With Patrick Sharp out of the lineup, Saad was bumped up to a line with Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw and posted his highest ice time total in a non-overtime game since the last time he scored a goal (Oct. 21 against Philadelphia). The five shots were a season-high for the Hawks young forward.
In his 700th career regular season game, Duncan Keith gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead early in the second with a power play goal.
Unfortunately, Keith’s partner – Brent Seabrook – was victimized by a terrible pinch with five minutes remaining in the second period. Andre Burakovsky flipped a shot over a sliding Keith to beat Crawford and grab the momentum for Washington.
Marcus Johansson scored with 46 seconds left in the second period to tie the game, and Joel Ward gave the Caps the lead with four second left in the middle frame as the wheels totally fell off for the Hawks.
The third period saw the Hawks out-shoot the Caps 13-4, but they weren’t able to capitalize. Corey Crawford was pulled with around 90 second left in the game, and the Hawks put pressure on Braden Holtby but Washington’s netminder finished the game strong.
After allowing four goals in each of his last three starts, Holtby made 38 saves against 40 shots to preserve the lead his skaters gave him in the closing moments of the second.
Crawford stopped 21 of 24 in the loss. Friday night was only the second time in eight starts this season that Crawford has allowed more than two goals in a game; he had allowed four goals in three games since returning from injury.
Washington, who came in with the second-ranked power play in the league, had only 67 seconds with an advantage in the game. Troy Brouwer cut their only power play short when he was called for interference. The Blackhawks converted one of their three power play opportunities.
Two-thirds of the Blackhawks fourth line of Jeremy Morin, Brad Richards and Peter Regin skated only two shifts in the third period. Regin (8:08) and Morin (8:25) were the only Blackhawks skaters under 10 minutes in the game. In his 11 shifts, Regin was credited with one shot on net, two hits and two takeaways. Morin was credited with three shots on net in his 11 shifts.
Richards skated 12:52, including 2:32 on the power play, and won eight of 10 faceoffs. He was on the ice for two shifts without Morin and Regin late in the game, and finished the game with the best CORSI (plus-18) and Fenwick (plus-12) on the team.
David Rundblad skated 14:51 and looked more comfortable in his third straight start. Rundblad was credited with four shots on net, one blocked shot and one hit. His partner, Trevor vanRiemsdyk, skated 12:49 in the game.