The Washington Capitals scored with 12.9 seconds left in the third period, it was fitting the goal came on a power play. Washington’s Troy Brouwer netted the game winner after Chicago’s Jonathan Toews was called for hooking. Washington came into the game ranked fifth in the league in converting power play opportunities, that unit capitalized on the late opportunity today. The Capitals went on to win 3-2 after a great team effort.
The game started with the Capitals jumping to a 2-0 after goals by Eric Fehr and Alex Ovechkin. The commanding lead didn’t last for long as the Blackhawks got right back into the game. Towards the end of the first period, Patrick Sharp scored his seventh goal of the season and the first of the game for Chicago. His power play score came after a Nicklas Backstrom pentaly, he was called for holding Toews.
Chicago tied the game just three minutes into the second period, Brandon Saad scored his ninth goal of the season. The game went back and forth for much of the second and third periods. Washington stayed alive due to it’s penalty kill unit getting out of a five on three situation without giving up a goal. That was a key point in the game, both teams were very aggressive as they had 35 shots on a goal a piece, 70 shots on goal total.
While it may seem that a 3-2 game didn’t involve great goaltending, this game was different. Both Braden Holtby and Justin Peters did a great job considering the type of scoring talent that was on the ice for both teams. While neither Kane, Toews, or Hossa scored, they all did have an assist. All having an impact on the game for the Blackhawks, combined, the three took seven shots on goal.
Washington did a great job limiting that impact that those three had, Chicago had it tough as well as they had to contain Backstrom, Ovechkin, and Brouwer. The Capitals trio combined for eight shots, two goals, and an assist.
The Capitals also imposed their will physically in this game, setting the tone in the hit department (24 to 10). Washington will move on to 19-11, while the Blackhawks fall to 25-11. The Capitals host the Florida Panthers at home in the Verizon Center on Sunday, the Blackhawks host the Dallas Stars at the United Center on Sunday as well. Both teams should enjoy their days of rest in between, the Capitals a little more as they walked away with another Winter Classic Victory.