Hawks Insider

10 observations: Ovechkin scores 800 in Capitals win over Hawks


The Blackhawks fell to the Washington Capitals 7-3 at the United Center on Tuesday.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. Alex Ovechkin went into the night needing three goals to hit 800 for his career and four to tie Gordie Howe for second all-time. He scored two in the first period, including 24 seconds into the game, and completed the hat trick in the third to hit it. Washington cleared the bench to celebrate with Ovechkin as hats showered the ice. The United Center crowd also gave him a standing ovation. Greatest goal scorer we've ever seen.

2. All three of Ovechkin's goals deserve its own bullet point. Here's a look at them:

3. The Capitals were skating circles around the Blackhawks at the beginning of the game. At one point, Chicago was being outshot 9-1. The Blackhawks pushed back and made it a game, but the Capitals pulled away in the third period. 

4. Dylan Strome returned to the United Center for the first time since the Blackhawks parted ways with him over the offseason. I thought he had a solid game. He recorded an assist on Trevor van Riemsdyk's goal that made it 3-1 Washington. Strome went up against Jonathan Toews' line for the most part. The Capitals are a good fit for his style of play. Hope it works out for him there long term.

5. Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup after missing the last 20 games with a high ankle sprain, and he was one of their better players of the night. He scored a goal in the first period to cut the deficit to 2-1 and could've had a second in the middle frame but was robbed by Charlie Lindgren. The Blackhawks missed his presence.

6. Patrick Kane was absolutely flying in this game. He tied a season-high with seven shots on goal and should've had at least three assists and even a goal. It's unfortunate he had only one assist to show for it.

7. The Blackhawks allowed 37 scoring chances at 5-on-5, per Natural Stat Trick. It was their third-highest total of the season.

8. Petr Mrazek started in goal after being sidelined a little more than a week with his second groin injury of the season. He was tested early and often, with his best save coming on a breakaway a minute and a half into the game on Nicolas Aube-Kubel. The Blackhawks didn't do him many favors.

9. Since the calendar flipped to November, Erik Gustafsson ranks second on the Capitals in ice time. He's been playing a significant role for them. 

10. Andreas Athanasiou did not play because of a family funeral. He's expected to return on Thursday vs. Vegas.

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