There will be plenty of offensive firepower on display when the Washington Capitals
play host to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks
on March 13 at Verizon Center in the NBC Sports NHL "Game of the Week," the League and NBC Sports announced Thursday.
Chicago is in a fight for the chance to defend its first title in 39 years. The Blackhawks currently sit in ninth place in the Western Conference, tied with two other teams at 68 points and two points shy of a four-team logjam above them. Captain Jonathan Toews
leads the Blackhawks with 55 points, one more than 2011 All-Star Game MVP Patrick Sharp
Washington is fifth in the Eastern Conference, and trails Tampa Bay by three points in the quest for a fourth consecutive Southeast Division title. The Capitals struggled after a hot start to the season but won 3 of the final 4 games on their recent road trip.
Captain Alex Ovechkin
is far off his typical goal-scoring pace, but he leads the Capitals with 24 goals and 62 points. Ovechkin does have 9 goals in the past 15 games -- a big improvement from 9 in the previous 35.
This will be the first time these two teams meet since March 14 when Washington rallied from 3 goals down in the third period to beat Chicago 4-3 at United Center on an overtime goal from Nicklas Backstrom
. Ovechkin was ejected from that game for a hit on Chicago's Brian Campbell
that earned him a two-game suspension.
It is the first time these two clubs will meet at Verizon Center since October 11, 2008. Back then Barack Obama was a Senator from Illinois three weeks away from the election that would seal his move to Washington and make him the 44th President of the United States.
Hockey fans in the United States can watch the game live on nhl.com