Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Caps bury 'Hawks for 8th win in row

WASHINGTON — Jay Beagle scored twice to lead a balanced blowout for the Capitals as they won their eighth consecutive game, beating the Blackhawks 6-0 Friday night.

Nicklas Backstrom, Brett Connolly, Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington, which snapped Chicago's winning streak at four.

"We are doing way better than I think a lot of people have expected at this point, so we're happy with that," Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said.

Braden Holtby stopped all 24 shots he faced and got the benefit of goaltender interference on Vinne Hinostroza's would-be goal for his fifth shutout in the past 14 games. Last season's Vezina Trophy winner is 9-2-2 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .950 save percentage over that time. He hasn't allowed a 5-on-5 goal in five games.

The Capitals outshot the Blackhawks 14-5 in a three-goal first period and dominated throughout, even when Chicago was on the power play. Blackhawks All-Star goaltender Corey Crawford allowed five goals on 30 shots before giving way to Scott Darling.

Beagle continued his own personal run of success against Chicago, opening and closing the scoring to reach eight goals on the season. The fourth-line center has four goals in two games against the Blackhawks this season and six in eight career games against them. Three of his four multigoal games have come against Chicago.

"It's weird," Beagle said.

Alex Ovechkin contributed career point No. 1,002 with a secondary assist on Backstrom's goal. Backstrom, who assisted on Oshie's third-period goal, has scored in three games in a row.

Game highlights: Connor Brown and William Nylander scored in the first period, Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots and the Maple Leafs beat the host Rangers 4-2. James van Riemsdyk and Connor Carrick also scored to help the Maple Leafs win for the seventh time in nine games (7-1-1). Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 23 saves. New York had won five of six overall, and four in row against Toronto. … John Tavares got his sixth career hat trick and the Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the host Panthers. … Jeff Skinner scored two goals in less than a minute and added an assist, Brock McGinn also scored twice and the host Hurricanes beat the Sabres 5-2.

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