The Washington Capitals are carrying much of the play, yet the Chicago Blackhawks managed to make it out of the second period with a 2-2 tie. If the Caps end up losing this game, Braden Holtby might be one of the parties to blame, especially after allowing an ugly odd angle goal by Tomas Kopecky (the only tally of the middle frame).
It’s been an outstanding game so far, with hostilities starting to boil over. Speedy Capitals winger Jason Chimera got away with a goalie interference call late in the second when he caught Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford with an elbow. The tensions over that hit (and the non-call) lead to a rare fight between pricey Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook and Chimera, even if it was basically just a grab fest.
While the Capitals have made plenty of national TV appearances on NBC and Versus this season, this afternoon’s game almost seems like a “coming out party” for their change to a defense-first (but still aggressive) style. Even beyond Boyd Gordon’s shorthanded goal in the first period, the team’s penalty kill is giving the ‘Hawks a lot of trouble today.
Yet as well as Washington is playing, it’s still a tie game. If the first 40 minutes of this game is any indication, we’re in for a compelling and dramatic finish.