Fleury stops Ovechkin in shootout as Blackhawks beat Capitals


WASHINGTON (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Alex Ovechkin in the shootout after Seth Jones tied it midway through the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied past the Washington Capitals, 4-3, on Thursday night.

Patrick Kane scored the shootout winner, and Fleury got some assistance from his goalposts to help Chicago win for the third time in five games. The Blackhawks have won seven of 10 games since Derek King took over as interim coach when Jeremy Colliton was fired.

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The Capitals lost by blowing a lead for the second time in two games. They coughed up a 4-1 lead and fell in regulation at Florida on Tuesday.

Washington will take the point from reaching overtime but fell to 0-7 in games this season that went past regulation. This was the Capitals’ first shootout of the season.

It probably should not have gotten that far. Garnet Hathaway put the Capitals ahead 57 seconds into the third period, but Jones fired a laser through traffic that tied the score at 3.

Ovechkin hit the left post on his best opportunity for his 750th career goal and missed high on a point-blank shot attempt later on. But he still made a major impact on the game, picking up the only assist on Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal and delivering a big, momentum-shifting hit on Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy.

The Capitals captain now has the same number of goals and assists as part of his team-leading 38 points through 24 games. On a rare night Ovechkin did not score, Washington got two goals from its top shutdown line: Hathaway’s fresh out of the penalty box on a breakaway and Nic Dowd’s in the first period from Carl Hagelin.

Alex DeBrincat scored his 13th of the season, and Dominik Kubalik ended a 15-game goal drought for Chicago. Fleury stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced in regulation and overtime and rubbed both goal posts after shots from Kuznetsov and Daniel Sprong rang off them in the shootout.

Despite losing Murphy for the final two periods and overtime and finishing with five defensemen, the Blackhawks won in Washington for the first time since 2006, ending an eight-game drought.

NOTES: The team didn't specify what Murphy’s injury was ... Blackhawks forward Josiah Slavin assisted on Jones’ goal in his NHL debut. A younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin, Josiah got the solo lap treatment prior to warmups, skating on his own before being joined by Fleury and the rest of his teammates ... Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves in regulation and OT ... Winger Daniel Sprong returned to Washington’s lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games. He replaced Michael Sgarbossa.

Blackhawks: visit the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
Capitals: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night in part two of a four-game home stand.

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