Blackhawks’ Offense Sputters in 4-1 Loss to Capitals Thursday

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 The Chicago Blackhawks’ offensive woes continued on Thursday night as they could only muster one goal in a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

Viktor Svedberg scored the lone goal of the game for the Blackhawks, but it wasn’t enough as they lost their second straight game and third contest overall on the season.

The Blackhawks started out the game with a big-time lineup shuffle, and the Capitals took full advantage of the lack of cohesion. Viktor Tikhonov was on that top line to start out with, but he took an undisciplined penalty and gave the Capitals a power play.

Just a few seconds in, the Capitals took advantage and scored. T.J. Oshie found a soft spot in the Blackhawks’ defense, and when he got the puck in between the face-off circles, he didn’t miss as he fired a shot past Scott Darling and into the net to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

It took the Blackhawks nearly 10 minutes to get their first shot of the game, and by the time they finally did, they began to generate some scoring opportunities. Artemi Panarin made a couple of good passes in the closing minutes of the period, but a Marian Hossa bid from in front was stopped by Braden Holtby, and Brent Seabrook also had a shot blocked away by the Capitals goaltender as Washington maintained their advantage after 20 minutes of play.

Early in the second period, the Blackhawks were punished for their inability to tie things up, and the Capitals scored again. This time it was John Carlson doing the damage, hammering a slap shot through traffic and past Darling to make it a 2-0 game.

After the Blackhawks gave up the goal, they once again made a big push forward, but Holtby was there to repeatedly keep them at bay. Panarin fired a shot off of the goal post to get the push started, and then Andrew Desjardins missed on a shot after a great feed from Andrew Shaw on a 2-on-1 rush. Finally Teuvo Teravainen got in on the action, but he was unable to score on two straight shot attempts as the Capitals continued to lead.

Early in the third period, the Capitals scored again to increase their lead. Matt Niskanen pinched in from the point during a possession, and when he released his shot, a Tikhonov screen prevented Darling from seeing the puck and allowed it to go into the back of the net to make it a 3-0 game.

Just a few moments later, the Blackhawks got a goal back. Panarin found Viktor Svedberg at the point with a pass, and when the defenseman beat Oshie to the middle of the ice, he fired a shot past Holtby to make it a 3-1 game.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, that was as close as they could get, and the Capitals scored one more goal for good measure. Alex Ovechkin did the honors, tapping in a shot on a 2-on-1 rush to make it 4-1 and send the Hawks to their second consecutive defeat.

The Blackhawks will look to rebound from consecutive road losses when they return home on Saturday night, where they will play the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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