Blackhawks 4, Capitals 3 (SO)
Chicago Blackhawks coaches challenged players at the second intermission to see what they could do with the score tied against one of the NHL’s best teams.
They took a quick punch to fall behind, fought back to tie it on Seth Jones’ goal midway through the third period and beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 in a shootout Thursday night. Patrick Kane scored the shootout winner, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Alex Ovechkin after getting some help from his goalposts and Chicago won for the third time in five games.
“We stayed in the fight,” interim coach Derek King said. “That’s a good hockey team: big, fast, skilled. It was a challenge for us, and they tilted the ice here and there but we stuck to our game plan.
"We just kind of played as simple as we could. We still made some mistakes where I would’ve liked to see pucks go in a little deeper but stayed in the fight and it was a challenge for us and they rose to the occasion.”
The Blackhawks have won seven of 10 games since King took over when Jeremy Colliton was fired. They’ve embraced a tight-checking mentality that gives them better chances to win against more talented competition, a style that paid off against Washington.
The Blackhawks easily could have folded when Garnet Hathaway scored fresh out of the penalty box on a breakaway 57 seconds into the third, but they hung right with the Capitals and were rewarded when Jones fired a laser past Vitek Vanecek with 8:04 left in regulation.
“Throughout the game we had some ups and downs like any other game, but we stuck with it,” said Jones, whose goal was his third of the season. “We were resilient in the way we wanted to play, and it took us to the very end to get a win.”
After surviving overtime, Fleury rubbed each of his goalposts after shots from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Daniel Sprong rang off each one in the shootout. Kane beat Vanecek for the only goal of the shootout to drop Washington to 0-7 this season in games that have gone beyond regulation.
“We had two guys go and hit the post twice,” coach Peter Laviolette said after the Capitals’ first shootout this season. “It’s a game of inches.”
The Capitals lost by blowing a lead for the second time in two games. They coughed up a 4-1 lead and fell in regulation at Florida on Tuesday and at least emerged with a point this time.
“The last two games we made mistakes in the third,” said forward Nic Dowd, who scored in the first and assisted on Hathaway’s goal. “I just think we need to tighten that up and realize we don’t need to score another goal. Just continue to play defense, get pucks out.”
Ovechkin hit the post and missed high on a couple of his best opportunities to score his 750th career goal, but he still made a major impact on the game. He picked up the only assist on Kuznetsov’s goal and delivered a big, momentum-shifting hit on Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy.
Washington captain now has the same number of goals and assists as part of his team-leading 38 points through 24 games.
Alex DeBrincat scored his 13th of the season, and Dominik Kubalik ended a 15-game goal drought for Chicago. Fleury stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced in regulation and overtime.
Despite losing Murphy for the final two periods and overtime and finishing with five defensemen, the Blackhawks won in Washington for the first time since Jan. 10, 2006, ending an eight-game skid.
“Thought we limited them to some chances and obviously we scored on some of ours,” DeBrincat said. “It was a good game overall, and it’s good to get a win on the road.
The team did not specify what Murphy’s injury was, and King did not have an update afterward.
Stars 3, Blue Jackets 2
Jason Robertson scored 68 seconds in and added the go-ahead goal late in the second period as streaking Dallas beat Columbus.
It was the Stars’ sixth consecutive win and seventh straight at home. They have outscored their opponents 21-7 during the winning streak.
Tyler Seguin also scored for Dallas. Joe Pavelski and Jani Hakanpaa had two assists apiece.
Jake Oettinger made 20 saves and improved to 5-0. It was just the second time this season he allowed two goals.
Emergency starter Daniil Tarasov stopped 34 shots for the Blue Jackets. Boone Jenner and Alexandre Texier had the goals for Columbus, outscored 15-5 while losing the first three games of its road trip.
Senators 3, Hurricanes 2
Alex Formenton scored twice and Josh Norris broke a tie 19 seconds after Ottawa lost the lead in its win over Carolina.
Norris pushed in a rebound with 5:54 left and the Senators hung on for their league-low fifth victory of the season.
Anton Forsberg made 47 saves for Ottawa in his seventh game with the Senators and 63rd of his career. He previously played for Columbus, Chicago and Carolina.
Teuvo Teravainen scored with 7:58 left on what was the 42nd shot of the game for the Hurricanes. Andrei Svechnikov tied it with 6:13 to go. Antti Raanta, who suffered his first regulation loss of the season in five decisions (3-1-1), made 17 saves for Carolina.
Panthers 7, Sabres 4
Anton Lundell scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, and Florida came back from three down for the second straight game to beat Buffalo.
Aaron Ekblad had two goals and an assist, Lucas Carlsson scored his first NHL goal and added an assist, and Sam Reinhart scored and had three assists for the Panthers. Jonathan Huberdeau also had a goal and three assists.
The Panthers trailed 3-0 after the first period and 4-1 in the second. They also climbed out of a 4-1 hole to beat Washington 5-4 on Tuesday, making Florida the ninth team in NHL history to overcome a three-goal deficit in consecutive games.
Sergei Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 12 shots before being replaced by Spencer Knight with 8:44 left in the second period. Knight stopped all 19 shots he faced.
Lightning 4, Blues 2
Victor Hedman had two goals and an assist, and Tampa Bay beat St. Louis.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Ondrej Palat and Anthony Cirelli, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves.
Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Blues. Ville Husso stopped 31 shots.
St. Louis starting goaltender Jordan Binnington and defenseman Justin Faulk were placed into COVID-19 protocols before the game. They joined center Tyler Bozak, who went on the list Tuesday.
The Blues recalled goalie Charlie Lindgren from Springfield of the AHL, but due to salary cap issues, he can’t join the team until Friday. St. Louis had former Grand Valley State player Kyle Konin as the emergency backup goalie. The 23-year old resides in the Tampa area.
Wild 5, Devils 2
Kirill Kaprizov had two goals and an assist as Minnesota kept rolling with a win against New Jersey.
Ryan Hartman had a goal and two assists, and Rem Pitlick and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for Minnesota, which has won five games in a row and is the NHL’s highest-scoring team since Nov. 2 with 64 goals in 15 games.
Kaapo Kahkonen made his second straight start in net for the Wild and finished with 29 saves.
Ryan Graves and Tomas Tatar scored for New Jersey. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 33 shots.
Avalanche 4, Canadiens 1
Cale Makar scored to put Colorado ahead to stay late in the second period, Valeri Nichushkin had a goal and an assist, and the Avalanche beat Montreal.
Andre Borkovsky and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avalanche, who bounced back from an ugly 8-3 loss at Toronto a night earlier.
Goalie Jonas Johansson made 19 saves for Colorado.
Ben Charot scored for Montreal, and Jake Allen stopped 30 of 33 shots.
Colorado opened the scoring with a short-handed goal in the second period. Loan O’Connor passed to a wide-open Nichushkin in front of the net.