Nhl Winter Classic: Washington Capitals Beat Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 – San Jose Mercury News

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Blackhawks vs. Capitals: Vital Viewing Information for Winter Classic 2015 | Bleacher Report

Alex Ovechkin, the player most responsible for making the nation’s capital worthy of hosting the NHL’s annual outdoor game, scored a goal, and he was also among the first to mob teammate Troy Brouwer when Brouwer’s power-play goal decided the game with 12.9 seconds to play Thursday. The NHL showcase was every bit the thrill for the Washington Capitals, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 before 42,832 at Nationals Park. “We started talking about Winter Classic since we started the season, and this is it,” Ovechkin said. “I remember Brouwie said it’s a good time to show up and make a show. And he did.” Brouwer scored against his former team to cap a chaotic sequence. Ovechkin had his stick broken on a slash by Brandon Saad. While Ovechkin was raising his hands to make sure the officials would call the penalty, Brouwer gathered the loose puck in the left circle. “Somebody had to try and keep it alive, so I just kind of turned around, threw it to the net,” Brouwer said. “I’m not even sure where it went in, but I heard the noise of the crowd, heard the noise of the guys on the ice.” What a noise it was, a playoff-level celebration by players on the ice and fans in the stands, many of whom flung their commemorative Winter Classic seat cushions high into the air. “First period was definitely a challenge,” Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said. “It was tough to pick up pucks.” source: http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_27242382/nhl-winter-classic-washington-capitals-beat-chicago-blackhawks?source=rss

When: Thursday, January 1 Start Time: 1 p.m. ET Watch: NBC Biggest Potential Difference-Maker: Alexander Ovechkin Patrick McDermott/Getty Images There will be a plethora of stars on both teams who should shine on the national stage, but the biggest potential difference-maker on Thursday will be Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin. In 36 games this season, Ovechkin has scored 17 goals and 13 assists for 30 points and just 30 penalty minutes. Add in 11 power-play points, and Ovechkin has been a force in the offensive zone for Washington. One area of growth that will make a major difference Thursday will be his responsibility in the defensive zone. With the arrival of head coach Barry Trotz, Ovechkin went from minus-35 in his plus/minus rating last season to plus-seven thus far in 2014. While Ovechkin has continued to improve defensively on the ice, some of his biggest changes have come away from the rink, as he told Erik Brady of USA Today : Of course, you feel 30 years old. You’re not young anymore. You have that kind of experience where you start thinking about what is going to be in the future. When I just came to the league, I didn’t realize Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov, they said, ‘Just remember, when you hit 30 you are going to feel all your old bruises; you need to get more sleep, go to bed early.’ And I’m like, ‘No way that is happening.’ And right now, you start to realize you can’t do those things you could do when you were 21 or 22. You can’t do what you did previous years if you want to get success. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2316136-blackhawks-vs-capitals-vital-viewing-information-for-winter-classic-2015

Blackhawks’ Hossa may have Hall of Fame resume – Yahoo Sports

Many of the 42,832 fans at Nationals Park celebrated by flinging their commemorative red cushions high into the air, an exclamation point to an event that helped validate the nation’s capital as an established hockey town. The seventh Winter Classic featured a replica of the Capitol in center field, through which the players entered the ballpark. They stood on a sheet of blue ice meant to represent the Reflecting Pool during the nation anthem, then faced off under a gorgeous blue sky – too gorgeous, if truth be told. The sun’s glare on the white ice of the main rink made it difficult to see the puck, and Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner made good on his plan to play the game wearing sunglasses. The teams switched sides at the 10-minute mark of the first period to even things out as the shadows from the stands began to cover the rink. It seemed totally unfair when Patrick Sharp launched a sun-to-shade slap shot that beat goalie Braden Holtby on a power play for Chicago’s first goal. The NHL considered delaying the start, concerned that the sunny skies would compromise ice conditions and player safety, but the go-ahead was given after the pregame skate. There was more incentive than usual this year to start on time: A lengthy postponement would have put the Classic head-to-head with the first semifinal of the new College Football Playoff. Eric Fehr, whose goals can be few and far between when he is covered by a roof, became the unlikely career leader in outdoor NHL hockey with the game’s opening goal. Fehr turned into an instant Capitals legend when he scored twice in the rain during the 2011 Winter Classic win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field, and his breakaway in the first period on Thursday added to the disproportionate Jan. 1 output for someone who averages about eight goals per season. source: http://abc7chicago.com/sports/blackhawks-fall-to-capitals-3-2-in-winter-classic/458350/

Blackhawks fall to Capitals 3-2 in Winter Classic | abc7chicago.com

“Those two points are going to come in handy down the road,” Shaw said. “They’re right on our heels, so we needed a big push. The guys dug deep and got those two points.” Chicago’s Patrick Sharp had an assist for his 500th NHL point, earned in his 700th game. There were surprising scoring bursts and swings, considering the game matched the teams with the league’s best defensive records. Chicago entered with an NHL-leading 2.03 goals-against average. Nashville’s was 2.06. The Predators were a step quicker in the first period and built a 2-0 lead as they put 18 shots on Crawford. Josi opened the scoring at 11:50, five seconds after the Predators killed Wilson’s hooking penalty. Josi raced down right wing and fired a rising shot over Crawford’s stick. Smith made it 2-0 with 2:48 left in the period and seven seconds after a Nashville power play ended. Crawford stopped Wilson’s first close-in attempt, but Smith popped in the rebound. source: http://tristate-media.com/drr/nhl-toews-so-goal-lifts-blackhawks-over-predators/article_d92d933c-9049-11e4-9fdb-b7a8807ea3f5.html

NHL: Toews’ SO goal lifts Blackhawks over Predators 5-4 – Daily Republican Register: Daily Republican Register

He seems to get better and better each year.” This is Hossa’s 16th full NHL season and he remains a key cog for the Blackhawks, who have won the Cup twice in the past five years and visit the Washington Capitals on Thursday in the Winter Classic. Hossa is averaging 0.64 points a game, the lowest since his rookie year with the Ottawa Senators , but his two-way game is responsible for preventing more than a few goals against. Teammates past and present marvel at what Hossa can do in the defensive zone and without the puck. ”He’s got that powerful stride that gets him back in the play easily,” said former Blackhawks forward Jeremy Morin, who’s now with the Columbus Blue Jackets . ”And he can take the puck off your stick with ease. He’s so strong on the stick and it’s always in the right position. He can steal pucks with the best in the league, for sure.” That, Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad said, is how Hossa turns defense into offense. In 1,127 games, Hossa has 472 goals and 547 assists. Hossa is 76th on the all-time points list, ahead of Hockey Hall of Famers Pat LaFontaine, Lanny McDonald and Maurice Richard. He’s 52nd in goals, ahead of LaFontaine, Doug Gilmour and Pavel Bure, and third among active players. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/blackhawks-hossa-may-hall-fame-resume-161531731–nhl.html

 

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