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Enhanced Box Score: Blackhawks 4, Capitals 3 (SO) – December 2, 2021

Chicago Blackhawks

This was another game where the Blackhawks of old probably would have lost. But we continue to see an improved team when matched against tougher opponents as the season moves forward. Against the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals, on the road, the Blackhawks tied the game in the third period to force overtime and a shootout and get a gutsy win, 4-3 with the help of Patrick Kane in the one-on-one contest.

A big thank you goes out to the goalposts behind Marc-André Fleury tonight, making at least five saves on the night against the Capitals, including two in the shootout. With the win, Fleury improves to 6-9-0 on the year and the Blackhawks improve to 8-12-2. This was the first time since my 16th birthday (January 10, 2006) that the Blackhawks have won a game against the Capitals one the road.

The opening period of the game was arguably the best for the Blackhawks as they stifled one of the best offenses in the league and pulled ahead late in the period thanks to none other than Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat.

DeBrincat scored his 13th of the season to give the Blackhawks the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. He is on pace for 48 goals this season. Stud.

To begin the second period, the Blackhawks lost Connor Murphy for the night, and likely longer, after Alex Ovechkin smashed into Murphy near the boards. It was a clean hit but an unfortunate outcome with two big bodies colliding. Murphy did not return to the game and looked not-so-hot when leaving the ice. Shortly after, the Capitals tied the game 1-1.

Mid-way through the period though, with Chicago’s powerplay looking more like a power outage over their last dozen games, Dominik Kubalík came through and ended his 15-game goal-drought by burying this great feed from DeBrincat to take a 2-1 lead.

Kubalík’s fourth goal of the season, DeBrincat’s second point of the night and the Blackhawks were back ahead. It wouldn’t last for long. The Capitals big guns showed up for the game-tying goal as Evgeny Kuznetsov tapped-in a loose puck behind Marc-André Fleury to tie the game heading into the third period.

Washington would have to kill a partial penalty to begin the period, but ultimately it worked out in their favor as Garnet Hathaway came out of the penalty-box with perfect timing and buried a breakaway to take the 3-2 lead. It would stay that way until rookie Josiah Slavin, making his NHL debut, carried the puck into the zone with no help, showed some patience and eventually found a wide-open Seth Jones who buried his third goal of the season to tie the game at 3-3.

Slavin tallies his first career NHL assist in his first career NHL game. It would remain tied 3-3 through the rest of regulation and through the overtime period, earning the Blackhawks at least one point on the night. To the shootout we would go and thanks in large-part to the posts behind Marc-André Fleury and this vintage Kane shootout goal, the Blackhawks come away winners over the Capitals.

Fleury made 25 saves on 28 shots, and stopped Alex Ovechkin in the shootout to earn the win, his fifth win in his last seven starts. Seth Jones, after the loss of Connor Murphy from the lineup, logged a team-high 29:38 minutes and had a goal and an assist on the night. This was a tight game that could have gone both ways, and for once, we saw it go the Blackhawks’ way.

Find the full box score here.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.