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Brouwer's late goal lifts Capitals past Blackhawks

Adam Vingan - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Seconds remained in the third period of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday, the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals deadlocked in a 2-2 tie.

With the Blackhawks' sixth power play of the game set to expire in two seconds, captain Jonathan Toews hooked Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, providing Washington with a late opportunity that they took advantage of.

Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad slashed Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin's stick out of his hands as he drove toward the net. With the loose puck near his feet, forward Troy Brouwer spun around and fired a shot from the slot that beat Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford with 12.9 seconds remaining in Washington’s 3-2 victory.


Disappointment of loss trumps spectacle for Hawks

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- While members of the Chicago Blackhawks were appreciative of the opportunity to play in a signature game like the Bridgestone 2015 NHL Winter Classic and, as a whole, enjoyed the experience, it didn’t take away any of the sting of dropping two points in the 60th minute Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park.

The Blackhawks fell behind early, rallied and carried the play in the middle of the game but ultimately left empty-handed with a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals.


Beagle: Win makes Winter Classic even more fun

Jay Beagle - Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals forward Jay Beagle played in his second Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday at Nationals Park as his team skated off with a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks. Beagle also suited up for Washington at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in 2011.

Beagle agreed to offer up his opinions in blog form leading up to and after the main event.

WASHINGTON -- After all the hype for the past several weeks, today was finally the big day.

And what a day it was.


Raanta: Loss dampens Winter Classic experience

Antti Raanta - Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta dressed for his first Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Thursday at Nationals Park, backing up starter Corey Crawford against the Washington Capitals.

The Blackhawks were defeated 3-2 on a goal by Troy Brouwer with 13 second remaining in the game. In his final blog from the Winter Classic, Raanta discusses the magic leading to the game as well as the disappointment of the last minute loss.

WASHINGTON -- It was a special day to be part of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. We woke up at 9 a.m. and had a good breakfast before we started to make the trip here to the stadium.

You could really feel that everyone was excited about the game on the way over here. When we came here and had time for some pre-game warmups, we decided to play soccer outside on the field. That was a great feeling. We could see the fans were showing up early and ready for the game.

When we started to put our gear on in the locker room it was a lot of excitement. Once we had everything ready, we went to the ice for the warmup.


World Junior Championship medal round preview

Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 3:25 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

MONTREAL -- If the preliminary round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship proved anything it's that international competition brings out the best in the top junior-aged hockey players in the world.

How else could you explain Slovakia earning a 2-1 victory against defending champion Finland, Switzerland thumping tournament contender Czech Republic 5-2, and Denmark's fantastic locker room celebration after winning for the first time in the top division of the WJC, a 4-3 shootout victory against Switzerland.

While the occasional upset is par for the course at the WJC in recent years, the perennial favorites always seem to be vying for the grand prize in the end. This year is no exception as the United States, Canada, Sweden and Russia are four of the eight teams to advance into the playoff round of the tournament, which begins Friday.


Oilers' Aulie faces Player Safety hearing Thursday

Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 3:10 PM / Department of Player Safety News

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Keith Aulie will have a hearing Thursday for his hit on Calgary Flames forward Matt Stajan during a game at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.

Aulie was assessed a match penalty and a game misconduct for the hit at 19:05 of the first period. Stajan left the game, but returned.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: hit to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.


Kraft, NHL, NHLPA, NBC Sports Group and USA Hockey search for America's most passionate hockey communities to find Kraft Hockeyville USA

Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 9:00 AM / 2015 Kraft Hockeyville

NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- January 1, 2015 -- Today, at the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® featuring the Chicago Blackhawks® and Washington Capitals® broadcast on NBC, the puck officially drops for Kraft Hockeyville™ USA -- the search for America’s most passionate hockey community. Uniting an all-star roster of partners including the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), National Hockey League (NHL®), NBC Sports Group, and USA Hockey, Kraft’s award-winning, Canadian-born Hockeyville™ program has expanded into the U.S. for the first time to help build better hockey communities across the country. Beginning today, hockey communities across the U.S. can vie for the esteemed title of "Kraft Hockeyville™ USA" and enter for a chance to win the grand prize of hosting an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN and $150,000 in arena upgrades.

"Seeing all these passionate hockey fans cheering on their team in the brisk winter air reminds me of the way so many of us fell in love with the sport," said Dino Bianco, Executive Vice President and President, Kraft Beverages. "Fans like this coming together for their shared love of hockey is what inspired us to launch Kraft Hockeyville in the U.S. and celebrate the unity that hockey brings to communities across the country."


Lindblom hat trick leads Sweden to first in Group B

Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 10:34 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia Flyers) had a hat trick and William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs) had three assists as Sweden beat Switzerland 5-1 in a Group B a preliminary-round game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Adrian Kempe (Los Angeles Kings) and top 2015 NHL Draft prospect Jens Looke each had a goal. Goaltender Linus Soderstrom (New York Islanders) made 21 saves.

Four of Sweden's goals came on the power play.

"We have good chemistry," Nylander said of the team's potent power play, according to the IIHF website. "We played together at the [2014 IIHF World] U-18s and we're getting better and better still. It's a lot of fun."


Canada's depth shuts down Eichel, U.S. at WJC

Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 9:46 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL – A lot of the attention surrounding the preliminary-round game between Canada and the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday was the matchup between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.

But the top two prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft were barely ever on the ice together. Instead, it was an entirely different matchup that allowed Canada to come away with a 5-3 win to claim first place in Group A.

Canada coach Benoit Groulx used the advantage of having the last change to play defensemen Darnell Nurse (Edmonton Oilers) and Shea Theodore (Anaheim Ducks) and the forward line of Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Max Domi (Arizona Coyotes) and Anthony Duclair (New York Rangers) against Eichel's line the entire game.


Canada holds off United States, wins group at WJC

Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 9:30 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

MONTREAL -- Max Domi not only helped the Canadian National Junior Team continue its preliminary-round mastery of the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championship, but he ended his night with an entire arena chanting his name.

Domi (Arizona Coyotes), who was named Canada's player of the game, scored two goals to spark a relentless offensive attack in a 5-3 victory against its North American rival at Bell Centre on Wednesday. Canada outshot the United States 43-28.

Domi scored the first goal of the game 7:07 into the second period and the last one into an empty net with 4.7 seconds remaining before the Bell Centre crowd began chants of "Domi, Domi" in the very city where his father was public enemy No. 1 for 10-plus seasons as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Quote of the Day

I think everyone left it out there. Every game this season, regular season and playoffs, we played as hard as we could. We're not out of the playoffs right now because of lack of effort, and that's all that we can ask of each other.

— Predators defenseman Seth Jones after Nashville was eliminated by Chicago in Game 6 on Saturday