Captain Alex Ovechkin netted his league-leading 51st tally and
added an assist while Nicklas Backstrom also scored and set up a
goal for the Capitals. Corey Crawford yielded four goals on 20 shots
before being chased after two periods and Antti Raanta made seven
saves as Chicago's four-game winning streak came to a halt.
After coming under fire for reportedly not feeling comfortable
enough to face his former team in St. Louis, Halak had no issues
keeping the Blackhawks at bay. The 28-year-old highlighted his 30th
career shutout and fifth of the season by making 17 saves in the
Washington got out of the blocks in a hurry as defenseman John
Carlson set up Ovechkin for a one-timer from his favorite spot — deep in the left faceoff circle. The reigning Hart Trophy winner
blasted his shot inside the near post at 2:04 of the first period
for his NHL-best 24th power-play goal.
Beagle doubled the advantage over seven minutes later by shoveling
blue-liner Dmitry Orlov's cross-slot centering feed into the gaping
net for his first goal since March 2. Backstrom banked a shot off
the back of Crawford just 79 seconds into the middle period before
Beagle scored from the doorstep with 3:44 remaining in the session
to give the Capitals a 4-0 lead.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Halak's victory was his first since March 18. ...
Ovechkin's assist on Backstrom's tally was the 392nd of his career,
tying him with Mike Gartner for second place on the franchise list.
... Chicago LWs Patrick Sharp and Jeremy Morin saw their
goal-scoring streaks end at three games. ... Washington C Marcus
Johansson exited the contest in the second period after he was hit
by Backstrom's shot and did not return.
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