Chicago Blackhawks vs. Washington Capitals Pick & Prediction MARCH 23rd 2023

Stadium: Verizon Center Washington
Logo Chicago Blackhawks
Logo Washington Capitals

6.5o 112
-1.5 -110



The Washington Capitals need to reverse course in a hurry if they wish to punch their ticket to the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.

Losers of three in a row and six of their last eight, the Capitals (33-31-8, 74 points) aim to get back on track Thursday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks (24-40-6, 54 points).

Washington was left smarting after squandering an early three-goal lead and a late one-goal advantage in a 7-6 overtime setback to the NHL-worst Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. The Capitals allowed a tying goal with 46.9 seconds remaining in the third period before Columbus native Jack Roslovic scored in overtime.

"Everybody realizes exactly where we're at and what needs to be done," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said.

Washington enters play on Wednesday residing five points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 10 games remaining.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season on Tuesday, marking the 13th season that he has reached that plateau. He eclipsed a record he shared with Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky in that respect. He also became the fifth player to reach 40 goals in a season at age 37 or older -- joining Hall of Famers Gordie Howe, Johnny Bucyk, Brendan Shanahan and Phil Esposito.

"Yeah, it's a pretty cool moment," the 37-year-old Ovechkin said. "It doesn't matter what kind of record it is. It's a record, you know?

"I'm just trying to enjoy my time, trying to do my best."

Ovechkin certainly did well in his last meeting against the Blackhawks on Dec. 13, collecting three goals and an assist in Washington's 7-3 romp in Chicago. He became the third NHL player with 800 career goals in that game, and he has since moved past Howe (801) to reside 74 shy of tying Gretzky (894) for the all-time lead.

As for the Blackhawks, they found themselves in a familiar spot on Monday: without a goal. Chicago was shut out for the eighth time in a 5-0 setback to the Colorado Avalanche.

The Blackhawks hung tough early in the game before yielding a power-play goal midway into the second period to fall into a 3-0 deficit.

"The third (goal on the) power play was a little deflating, but that happens," Chicago defenseman Caleb Jones said after the team's ninth loss in the last 12 games (3-8-1).

"We skated with them pretty good in the first period, but their strength and speed pushed us back," Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. "We had some chances -- not quite as many high-quality chances as they did -- but unfortunately we couldn't get that one to ... keep us into the game."

Petr Mrazek is expected to rejoin the team in Washington after removing himself from a March 14 contest due to a groin injury. He had turned aside all 16 shots he faced in that game against the Boston Bruins after losing his previous five decisions (0-4-1).

Mrazek, however, permitted all seven goals in the previous clash versus the Capitals. He is 5-8-2 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 15 career meetings against Washington.

--Field Level Media

Chicago Blackhawks
Washington Capitals

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Washington Capitals Recap JAN 1TH 2015

Capitals 3, Blackhawks 2: Troy Brouwer scored on the power play with 13 seconds remaining in the third period as host Washington rebounded after squandering an early two-goal lead to upend Chicago in the NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park.

With Jonathan Toews serving a hooking penalty, fellow captain Alex Ovechkin broke his stick while attempting to play the puck in the left faceoff circle. Brouwer, who played with the Blackhawks in parts of five seasons, gained possession and quickly wired a shot that caromed off the glove of Corey Crawford and into the net to lift the Capitals into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Washington's Eric Fehr recorded his third goal in the Winter Classic to become the league's all-time leading scorer in the event. Ovechkin tallied for the fourth time in six contests and added an assist and Braden Holtby finished with 33 saves while making his career-high 14th consecutive start for the Capitals, who improved to 9-1-3 in the last 13 games.

Patrick Sharp scored his sixth power-play goal among his team-leading 10 shots and Brandon Saad also tallied for the Blackhawks, who fell for just the fifth time in 20 games (15-4-1). Toews notched an assist for his league-record fifth point in the Winter Classic and Crawford turned aside 32 shots.

After tallying twice in the 2011 outdoor game at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, Fehr opened the scoring by beating Crawford inside the right post on a breakaway 7:01 into the first period. Ovechkin doubled the advantage just under five minutes later by swatting home a rebound following a point shot from blue-liner Mike Green (two assists), but Sharp's wrister sailed from the sunlight into the shade and past Holtby at 13:36 before Saad capped a crisp tic-tac-toe passing sequence to forge a 2-2 tie at 3:15 of the second.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Sharp's power-play goal gave him four points in outdoor games, moving him into a three-way tie with Toews and Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg prior to the Chicago captain's assist on Saad's tally. ... The league mandated that the teams switch ends midway through the first period, neutralizing any perceived advantage gained from the elements - particularly the glare from the sun. ... Billy Idol performed prior to the game, fellow musician Gavin DeGraw worked the first intermission and country singer Lee Greenwood did the same in the second.