Recap: Blackhawks vs Capitals 7-1 Win


The Blackhawks faced Washington Capitals Saturday night, in a battle of the bottom vs the top. Most people with half a brain in their head fully expected a slaughter, but were treated to a quite entertaining contest if you were a fan go the home team.

Tomas Jurco, Erik Gustafsson and Anthony Duclair took the night off if the Joel Quenneville Shrimp cocktail suite, and Anton Forsberg made the start in goal.

The Blackhawks lines for this game were:
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Tommy Wingers
Artem Anisimov – Nick Schmaltz – Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp – Ryan Hartman – Alex DeBrincat
Lance Bouma – David Kampf – Vincent Hinostroza

Duncan Keith – Jordan Oesterle
Michal Kempny- Brent Seabrook
Connor Murphy – Carl Dahlstrom

Just over six minutes into the game, Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews combined to put the Blackhawks up 1-0, after fooling Caps goalie Braden Holtby. Saad got tied up at the near half wall and lost the puck in a scrum. Jonathan Toews was there to pick up the loose puck and just fling it towards an unprepared Holtby. The shot surprised Holtby and ended up in the net. This was not a Vezina trophy caliber goal, at all.

Washington was able to come right back and tie the game just under four minutes after the Toews goal. The Blackhawks failed to get the puck out of the zone, after Anton Forsberg controlled it behind the Blackhawks net. He dumped the puck up the near boards and right to waiting Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen. Niskanen flipped the puck towards the Hawks net, potentially several feet wide, where Tom Wilson was waiting. Wilson then redirected the puck down and past Forsberg.

The air in the arena started to get sucked out, but the Blackhawks were up to the task this time.

Less than two minutes after the Capitals tied the game, Brandon Saad put the Blackhawks back up, for good. Saad set up Vinny Hinostroza on a Blackhawks rush, with a nice weaving entry. Hinostroza eventually ended up on the doorstep of the Washington net with the puck on his stick. He tried to pull the puck across his body and beat Holtby to the stick side, but Holtby poked the puck away. Brandon Saad was following the play and quickly gathered the loose puck, sliding it into a wide open net.

This was the second straight goal where Braden Holtby seemed surprised at the puck coming his way.

The game still had two full periods to play but the Blackhawks really took all the wind out of the visiting Caps, with less than two seconds left in the opening period. Chicago hurried a rush down the ice to try and beat the scoreboard clock. They dumped the puck deep into the Caps zone but maintained possession. Eventually, Carl Dahlstrom flung the puck at Holtby from roughly the same spot Jonathan Toews scored from earlier. Holtby made the save this time, but allowed the rebound to find the stick of Nick Schmaltz on the opposite side of the net. Schmaltz quickly deposited the puck into the net, which gave the home team a 3-1 lead after twenty minutes.

This capped a period in which the Blackhawks amassed a 21-6 shot advantage. Luckily for them, the good fortunes just continued from there.

In the middle period, the game seemed to slow down a bit, with a couple of penalties getting called against each team, and seemed to be heading in a much more quiet fashion than the first. With just over four minutes remaining, though, the Blackhawks opened the flood gates which eventually lead to Holtby being pulled in the second intermission.

The Capitals got a little nonchalant in their own end and Brooks Orpik handed the puck right to Jonathan Toews at the Caps blue line, with only Braden Holtby in front of him. Toews failed on the break-a-way but Patrick Kane followed up the play and beat the helpless Capitals goalie. They were not finished there, though.

Just over a minute after the Kane goal, Ryan Hartman put on an offensive spectacle for the Hawks faithful. Hartman picked up the puck at his own blue line with his sights set on the Capitals net. He knifed up the middle, beat two Caps defenders and then beat Holtby with a beautiful backhand move to give the Blackhawks a 5-1 lead. The Blackhawks were still not finished in the second period, though.

The Hartman goal was not even fully announced by Gene Honda when Artem Anisimov took a Vince Hinostroza feed and snapped a laser beam past Braden Holtby easily. Holtby was clearly not seeing the puck well in this game. The Blackhawks out shot the Capitals once again in the second period, this time 12-6.

With the game on ice already, Alex Debrincat added the third period “extra point” on a really nice backhand move, beating Philipp Grubauer, for his 22nd goal of the season. That was “all she wrote” for the Capitals in this game.


  • Clearly goals from Toews, Kane, Hartman, and Saad were all really important for this struggling team.
  • When you out shoot one of the better Eastern conference teams 44-20, you are having a really good night.
  • Anton Forsberg did not have an extremely busy night, but had to make a few high danger stops.


  • I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this was not the first time the Blackhawks had stomped an Eastern conference team, only to return to the pumpkin at midnight. Nothing this team has shown should give anyone the impression that they can accomplish this night in and night out. Enjoy it, and move on. They need the high draft pick more than they need false hope of, at best, a first round loss.

About Jeff Osborn

Jeff has covered the Blackhawks since 2009 with his former website and podcast The Puckin Hostile Shoutcast until 2017, when he moved over to The Rink. After a short hiatus to cover the inaugural Seattle Kraken season, he came back to Blackhawks coverage and started "The Net Perspective" podcast to discuss goaltending and goaltender development.


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