Washington snaps five-game losing skid in Chicago


The Blackhawks led 2-0 less than a minute into the second period thanks to goals from Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith; however, it was all Washington after that as the Capitals scored three unanswered to edge Chicago 3-2 Friday night.

Andre Burakovsky’s third of the season got the Capitals on the board at 15:03 of the second.

Washington then scored twice in a 42-second span to take the lead.

Marcus Johansson tied it 2-2 with his sixth of the season and Joel Ward scored the eventual game-winner with five seconds remaining in the middle frame.

“That’s big when you’ve been struggling a little bit,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said of Washington snapping its’ five game skid. “You could tell, we’ve lost a number of games here [despite] playing pretty well, then losing some games here, when things aren’t going [our] way, you sort of don’t trust yourself confidence-wise. Obviously getting this one will hopefully boost our confidence, and we can go forward.”

Saad opened the scoring at 17:12 of the first, with his second of the season.

Then after Alex Ovechkin was whistled for an illegal check to the head on Blackhawks’ defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, Keith gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead with a power play marker.

With the loss, Chicago has just one win in four games.

“(We’ve got) a 2-0 lead, giving up nothing, make a bad decision and it’s in our net, and it’s in our net and in our net,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We played a perfect 35 minutes and then we basically shot ourselves in the foot with mental mistakes. A couple of plays were totally unacceptable. The last (goal) at the end of the period was tough to give up.”

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said they sat back and allowed the Capitals to take over.

“I don’t think it’s anything that they took from us as much as it is us letting up and kind of getting away from our pace and giving them chances that we didn’t make them earn, so we can’t be happy with that,” Toews Said. “I think we just got satisfied for a short amount of time. I think we felt comfortable with our 2-0 lead and it came back to bite us. We can’t be happy with that. It’s something we need to deal with and learn from right away and not let that happen again.”

Braden Holtby made 38 saves for the win while Corey Crawford stopped 21 shots in a losing cause.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

caufield surgery
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

matty beniers
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.