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Capitals 4, Blackhawks 0

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[April 12, 2014]  WASHINGTON  Capitals 4, Blackhawks 0: Jay Beagle scored twice to record his first career multi-goal performance and Jaroslav Halak stopped all 34 shots he faced as host Washington breezed to its fourth consecutive victory.

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 third period.

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.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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