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game recap

Ovechkin, Capitals overwhelm Blackhawks

Forward has goal, three assists to hand Chicago fifth straight loss

by Brian McNally / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin scored for the eighth time in seven games, Nicklas Backstrom ended a 21-game streak without a goal, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.

Ovechkin, who had three assists, leads the NHL with 21 goals. It was his second four-point game of the season; he scored four goals in a 6-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 7.

 

[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Ovechkin, Backstrom and Tom Wilson combined for 11 points.

"I think our line right now feels very good," Ovechkin said. "We have lots of minutes. When you have [those] minutes, you just enjoy the time and enjoy [playing]. Especially against a great team, you have a tough matchup, and when you beat them the feeling is unbelievable."

Video: CHI@WSH: Wilson strikes from along the wall

Braden Holtby made 37 saves for the Capitals (17-11-1), who have won three in a row and 12 of 17.

Backstrom last scored on Oct. 14 in an 8-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The streak was tied for his second longest in the NHL (2010-11); he had a 23-game drought in 2014-15.

"It's nice to score, but I haven't really been thinking about it too much," Backstrom said. "The last two or three games we've been winning. But as a hockey player, you always want to score, right?"

Wilson had two goals and two assists for his first four-point game in the NHL.

The Blackhawks (12-11-5) have lost a season-high five in a row.

"It's a different story every night," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. "Nobody's going to feel sorry for us."

The Capitals scored three goals in a span of 3:28 in the first period. Backstrom's goal at 11:54, his fourth of the season, came on a one-timer in the slot off a pass from Ovechkin; Wilson's shot from the left face-off circle beat Anton Forsberg short side at 14:53; and Ovechkin followed a Wilson breakaway and scored on a rebound to make it 3-0 at 15:22.

"Any time you can jump on them at the start, get a couple of goals, it's a benefit," Holtby said. "I thought really in the end that was the difference in the game, that we got those first three. But after that, there's some work to be done."

Video: CHI@WSH: Connolly extends Caps' lead with PPG

Lance Bouma scored at 17:54 of the first period to make it 3-1.

Holtby kept it 3-1 at 14:24 of the second period when he made a pad stop on Patrick Kane off a rush up the left wing. Holtby foiled Artem Anisimov on a one-timer in the slot nine seconds later.

Chicago outshot Washington 16-6 in the second period and 39-25 in the game.

Brett Connolly's power-play goal at 18:32 of the second period gave the Capitals a 4-1 lead.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored at 10:23 of the third period to make it 5-1. Jonathan Toews scored an unassisted 4-on-4 goal at 16:18 to make it 5-2, and Wilson scored a shorthanded empty-net goal at 17:40 to make it 6-2.

Forsberg allowed three goals on 10 shots and was pulled after Ovechkin's goal. J.F. Berube made 12 saves in relief.

"We let their top guys do what they wanted to do with the puck early on in the game," Toews said. "And when we get down, they just seem to feed off it and feed off their own offense and it kept coming."

Video: CHI@WSH: Toews goes five-hole on breakaway

 

Goal of the game

Backstrom's goal at 11:54 of the first period.

Video: CHI@WSH: Backstrom buries Ovechkin's delicate feed

 

Save of the game

Holtby's save on Anisimov at 14:33 of the second period.

Video: CHI@WSH: Holtby blockers away Anisimov's one-timer

 

Highlight of the game

Ovechkin's goal at 15:22 of the first period.

Video: CHI@WSH: Ovechkin cleans up Wilson's rebound

 

They said it

"Not happy about tonight's game. You can be misled by the shot clock or maybe it looked like we had some looks there. The quality of our chances, the volume of our shots hit [Holtby] right in the chest with no chance of getting a second opportunity whether there was some people at the net or not. It was almost like we gave the puck to them just by putting it at the net." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

 

"I thought they came out with a pretty good focus. I thought they played quick and they played heavy, and they sort of took the game over. They were really good. Nicky got the first one, and I don't think there was anyone on our bench who wasn't happy he got it. It's got to be a sense of relief. That line carried us tonight." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz

 

Need to know

Chicago has lost seven games in a row at Washington since a 4-3 overtime win on Jan. 10, 2006. … Kuznetsov has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past 11 games.

Video: CHI@WSH: Kuznetsov finishes give-and-go with Ovechkin

 

What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, NBCSWA, MSG, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Wilson, Capitals roll through Blackhawks, 6-2

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