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Jingle Bell Rock: Blackhawks 5, Capitals 4

The Blackhawks won a wild one on Wednesday night at the United Center.

Washington Capitals v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks capped off a wild Wednesday evening with an overtime goal for a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals at the United Center.

The first period was mostly uneventful and completely scoreless — perhaps that was done to set up the zaniness of the second period.

It started with a goal that’s happened in this way so many times it’s amazing that teams allow it to happen at all but they still do: Alex Ovechkin scored on a one-timer from the left circle while on the power play to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.

Washington nursed that 1-0 lead for just over 10 minutes before a pair of penalties gave the Blackhawks’ scuffling power play a golden opportunity, with 17 seconds of 5-on-3 time.

Chicago scored.

And then it scored again.

And then, just for fun, it scored again.

Altogether, the Blackhawks scored three goals in 34 seconds of the middle period, jumping out to a 3-1 lead. Two of those goals were on the power play: Alex DeBrincat first and Philipp Kurashev second. Mackenzie Entwistle followed it up by tapping in a rebound during 5-on-5 play after the expiration of those two penalties.

Here are all three goals:

But the second period ended 3-2 in favor of the Blackhawks due to a shot from Daniel Sprong that found its way past Marc-Andre Fleury and into the Blackhawks net.

The third period featured more back-and-forth hockey. Lars Eller tied the game at three at the 11:57 mark with a backhander that appeared to fool Fleury.

Chicago went back to the power play a few minutes later and DeBrincat did what DeBrincat does to put Chicago ahead 4-3 after a neat passing play which also included Dylan Strome and Brandon Hagel:

The lead wouldn’t last, though. With three seconds remaining in regulation and the Capitals’ net empty, Conor Sheary found just enough space to one-time a John Carlson pass for a game-tying goal. The goal was reviewed for a possible offsides call on TJ Oshie but was upheld upon review. More on that later.

It didn’t matter, though, because Chicago won the game in overtime when Caleb Jones scored his first Blackhawks goal by tapping in a rebound off of a Kirby Dach shot:

Notes

  • As the game charts below will indicate, Washington thoroughly outplayed Chicago during 5-on-5 play in this game, with the Blackhawks largely saved by its trio of power-play goals. Not an ideal way to win a game, but one that can be lived with in the short-term as long as it does not become the norm.
  • Dylan Strome gets on the ice for 4:00 of power-play time and is on the ice for a pair of goals while notching an assist on one of them. Is this a statistical anomaly or indicative of what Strome contributes to the man advantage? To be sure, let’s leave him in the lineup and on the power play for the next month.
  • And while we’re at it, let’s leave Strome with Kane and DeBrincat for a month of 5-on-5 to see if those offensive struggles can become a thing of the past.
  • Kirby Dach was rewarded with a pair of assists in this game which was absolutely fair given how much he contributed to those two goals. His first assist was on the Kurashev goal and Dach created that chance damn near singlehandedly by navigating through the Washington defense to generate the shot on goal which became a rebound for Kurashev to tap home. Dach also perfectly executed that overtime 2-on-1, holding on for a shot on goal to ensure that it would not be caught cleanly, which again left a rebound that Caleb Jones was able to pounce on. There was also a nifty spin-o-rama from Dach in the neutral zone, perhaps indicative of a player who’s feeling more confident than he was earlier in the season. Here’s hoping more plays like that — and points as well — will follow.
  • I do not understand how the TJ Oshie play is not considered offsides when Patrick Kane was ruled offsides on this play against St. Louis from three weeks ago. The situation seems the same in each: while the puck may not necessarily be on the player’s stick, arguments can be made that each player is in possession of the puck and, therefore, not considered offsides. Either they’re both offsides or they both are not. Once again, the NHL’s inconsistency in the application of the rule is the main reason for the frustration here.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury is fun and even though it’s probably only for one season it’s an absolute delight to have him in Chicago.
  • Pretty damn entertaining game, wasn’t it?
  • A final note:

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — 2 goals
  2. Caleb Jones (CHI) — GWG, assist
  3. Kirby Dach (CHI) — 2 assists

What’s next

The Blackhawks are back at the United Center on Friday night to host the Nashville Predators for a 7:30 p.m. start.