Blackhawks lose 6-1 to Capitals


WASHINGTON (AP) — John Carlson had a goal and an assist in his return from a fractured skull, and the Washington Capitals beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-1, on Thursday night.

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom also had a goal and an assist, helping Washington (34-31-8) move within four points of Pittsburgh for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins were at Dallas on Thursday night.

Nikita Zaitsev scored for Chicago in the third period, and Anton Khudobin made 22 saves in his first NHL game since Jan. 15, 2022, with Dallas. It was Zaitsev's first goal since April 3 for Ottawa.

The Blackhawks went 0 for 5 on the power play in their third straight loss. They were coming off a 5-0 loss at Colorado on Monday night.

Next up for Chicago is Saturday at Minnesota before hosting Vancouver on Sunday night in the organization's Pride game. The organization has decided against wearing special warmup jerseys to commemorate Pride night, citing an anti-gay Kremlin law that could imperil Russian athletes when they return home.

Zaitsev is a Moscow native, and Khudobin and forward Philipp Kurashev also have connections to the country.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press.

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