CHICAGO (CBSDC/AP) — After rattling off four straight wins the Washington Capitals appear headed in the opposite direction, losing their second contest in as many tries.
Rookie Andrew Shaw recorded his first two-goal game, and the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Capitals 5-2 on Sunday night for their third straight win.
Viktor Stalberg, Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell also scored for Chicago, which is 7-1-1 in its last nine despite playing without captain and leading goals scorer Jonathan Toews.
Mike Knuble and Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington, which lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak.
Corey Crawford made 16 saves and in his second straight start. Projected to be Chicago’s top goalie this season, Crawford’s inconsistent play prompted Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville to start Ray Emery in five previous contests.
Michal Neuvirth stopped 24 shots for the Capitals, who didn’t dress No. 1 goalie Tomas Vokoun due to an undisclosed injury.
Shaw, who added an assist Sunday, has nine goals and six assists in his first 28 NHL games. The 20-year-old rookie made his NHL debut on Jan. 5, and then scored five goals in his first eight contests. After cooling off, Shaw was returned to Rockford of the AHL on Feb. 18, but was recalled again on Feb. 29.
The Blackhawks dominated the first period, and took a 2-0 lead while outshooting the Capitals 12-3. Chicago took its 12 shots before Washington got its first, by defenseman Mike Green with 3:58 left.
Shaw was credited with opening the scoring 3:35 in. Neuvirth made a pad save on Shaw’s drive from the right circle, but the rebound popped up the slot to Duncan Keith. Keith fired into traffic in front and the shot apparently deflected off Shaw and past Neuvirth.
Stalberg made it 2-0 just over four minutes later. He outraced Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a loose puck on right wing, cut across the crease and tucked in a shot past Neuvirth’s outstretched right pad.
Knuble cut it to 2-1 just 2:22 into the second, firing in a shot from the left circle following a turnover by Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.
But Kane made it 3-1 at 7:57 after Washington’s John Carlson couldn’t handle the puck deep in his zone. Kane fired into an empty net after to cap a quick passing play with Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa.
Shaw made it 4-1 with his second goal just under four minutes later. He skated out from behind the net to Neuvirth’s right, reached across the crease and slid in a shot.
Ovechkin beat Keith, Chicago’s top defenseman, with a slick move 1-on-1, then drove to the net and beat Crawford at with 5:32 left in the second to cut it to 4-2.
Neuvirth and Crawford both made several tough close-in saves in the third Bickell fired in an empty-net goal with 1:47 left.
Notes: All four officials wore No. 47 to salute linesman Dan Schachte, who worked his 2,009th and final game. Schachte, who has worked more games than any other American official in NHL history, appeared in his first game on Oct. 6, 1982, at the Chicago Stadium. … Vokoun, who has played in 47 games, is day-to-day. Braden Holtby was recalled from Hershey of the AHL to take Vokoun’s roster spot and backed up Neuvirth on Sunday. … Toews missed his 13th game with a concussion. Toews had resumed skating without contact, but then stopped last Thursday.
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