Something had to give Friday, as the Capitals and Blackhawks met in Chicago.
Both teams are definitely considered championship contenders in their respective conferences, and both have been piling up the wins to this point in the season. After Friday’s result, the Capitals are now within a point of Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers for the Metropolitan Division lead.
Without Artem Anisimov due to a lower-body injury, which is a big loss because he’s been so productive, the Blackhawks fought back to extend their point streak to 10 games thanks to a late tying goal from Marian Hossa.
The chance for a comeback victory, however, was dashed when Marcus Johansson scored 2:20 into overtime, as the Capitals took this heavyweight clash 3-2. The point streak continues for Chicago, which has benefited from great goaltending and timely scoring, but the winning streak ended at seven games.
“We’ve been in this stretch for a while now, and we’ve been extremely fortunate a lot of nights,” Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We can be better in ways, but we’ll take it.”
Meanwhile, the Capitals rebounded from a shutout loss to San Jose earlier in the week.
Up next for the Blackhawks is a Sunday meeting with the Montreal Canadiens and Carey Price, who has been sensational in net. After that, they’re on the road for seven games.
It’s a trip that should present plenty of difficulty for the Blackhawks. Sure, there are games against struggling teams from Calgary and Vancouver.
But they’ll also face Connor McDavid and the Oilers, and travel through California, ending the trip with three games in four nights against San Jose, Anaheim and California.