Stout defense and solid goaltending, two traits that Sunday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and visiting Washington Capitals had neither of.
But goal scoring? Yeah, there was a metric tonne of that in an 8-5 win for the Blackhawks on NBC.
Jonathan Toews scored a hat trick and added two assists for a five-point afternoon. Patrick Kane had a five-point game of his own, notching two goals and adding three helpers to push his point streak to eight games. Dylan Strome had a goal and two apples.
For the Capitals, they didn’t get one goal from their forwards. John Carlson led the way with two goals. All five of their goals came care of their defenseman — six if you include Dmitry Orlov’s own goal (he also scored one on the right net, too).
It was a game that reeked of two teams desperate to end their respective losing streaks. Chicago owned the longest of the two, coming into the game winless in five. The Capitals’ streak, meanwhile, extended to five, which extended their season-long drought.
The Caps came into the game outscored 14-4 in that time. You’d think scoring one more than they had in their previous four would be enough, but when Braden Holtby gets pulled after 22:30, allowing four goals on 11 shots, it’s probably not going to end well.
Goaltending wasn’t of particular importance in the game.
Collin Delia got the start for the Blackhawks and did enough in the end, despite allowing a few ugly ones. There weren’t a lot of notable saves in this one, but Delia made the save of the game with this effort in the second period.
Alex DeBrincat also found the back of the net, notable because he now has seven goals in his past seven games and 25 on the year.
DeBrincat is now three shy of the 28 he threw up in his rookie season last year and still has 32 games to get there. He’s likely going to crush that record in his sophomore season.
None of that is surprising given he can do things like this:
While Washington seems secure for the moment in terms of a playoff spot, their stock in Metropolitan Division is plummeting.
The New York Islanders leapfrogged them already with their four-game winning streak and could buy themselves some breathing room now with a win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
The win for Chicago moves them out of the Western Conference basement, one point up on the lowly Los Angeles Kings. The Blackhawks are in a different battle down the stretch here, with the best lottery odds on the line for June’s NHL Draft.