Washington Capitals (4–2–2) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (2–2–1)
7:30 p.m. CDT
Chicago — Corey Crawford (1–2–1, .900 save percentage, 3.40 goals against average)
Edmonton — Braden Holtby (1–1–2, .846 save percentage, 4.27 goals against average)
Chicago (22.2%, 13th)
Washington (21.9%, 14th)
Chicago (61.5%, 30th)
Washington (84.6%, 10th)
Chicago (31.3, 14th; 33.3, Ninth)
Washington (30.4, 19th; 27.8, 30th)
Face off percentage
Chicago (47.8%, 24th)
Washington (52.5%, Seventh)
Average height and weight
Chicago — 6-foot-1, 198 pounds
Winnipeg — 6-foot-1, 204 pounds
Projected lines and pairings
The Blackhawks notched their second win of the season against Columbus Blue Jackets, Friday night. In the victory, Robin Lehner stood out with another excellent performance. Without Lehner’s performance, the Blackhawks might have been on the wrong side of the score. In addition to Lehner’s play, Calvin de Haan stood out with his solid play on defense along with Jonathan Toews scoring his first goal of the season.
Another positive following Friday night’s game was a late-night roster move. The Blackhawks have recalled first-round draft pick Kirby Dach from Rockford. Dach was on the ice early this morning and figures to get his first NHL action. If Dach and the Blackhawks hope to continue their winning ways, they need to improve upon their play in their own zone and getting pucks through the neutral zone.
Do not be deceived by the modest offensive numbers the Washington Capitals have currently. This team is still stacked with offensive firepower lead by Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin, for his career, averages just under 50 goals per season and is coming off yet another 50 goal campaign. He currently has five goals on the season and his team leader.
While the offense appears to be stable, goaltending has become an issue. Braden Holtby, a former Vezina Trophy winner, has struggled this early season. His current numbers suggest he is a below league average goaltender. If the Capitals want to have any success against the Blackhawks and this season, they need Holtby to play like his former Vezina caliber self. If Holby continues to falter, the entire team could follow behind him.
Winning can be like a massage. Everyone relaxes after you win. Can the Blackhawks continue to ease our tensions?