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End of 1st: Capitals 2, Blackhawks 1

by Dan Rosen /

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park on Thursday.

Eric Fehr and Alex Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead, but Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp scored a power-play goal at 13:36. The Capitals outshot the Blackhawks 15-13.

Fehr scored his 11th goal of the season on a breakaway at 7:01 to give Washington a 1-0 lead. He became the NHL's all-time leading scorer in outdoor games with three goals. Fehr also scored two goals in the 2011 NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Fehr sprung himself for a breakaway after Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was unable to keep the puck in at the right point. Fehr gained a step on Seabrook and went in alone on Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, deking to his forehand to tuck it inside the right post.

Ovechkin scored off a rebound from the lower part of the left circle to give Washington a 2-0 lead at 11:58. Crawford fumbled Mike Green's shot from the right point, leaving the puck out for Ovechkin, who had an open net to shoot at from the left side.

Sharp cut the deficit in half seven seconds after Nicklas Backstrom was called for holding Jonathan Toews in the offensive zone. Sharp beat Capitals goalie Braden Holtby with a wrist shot through traffic coming out of the sun and into the shade from the right point. Andrew Shaw was in front of the net screening Holtby.

The Capitals and Blackhawks switched ends at 10 minutes to minimize any advantage gained from the elements, particularly the glare from the overhead sun.

Chicago will start the second period with 33 seconds remaining on the power play and Capitals forward Troy Brouwer in the penalty box.


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