New lines, same result for the Blackhawks against the Capitals in Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON D.C. – He’s the masters of taking his lines and throwing them in a blender, then figuratively pouring them out to create a new look lineup.
Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. You can’t fault Joel Quenneville for trying, especially after his team failed to win any of their four games last week. Hence the odd lines that were trotted out at practice Tuesday and then morning skate on Wednesday.
Jonathan Toews was joined on the top line by Ryan Hartman and John Hayden, with Patrick Kane’s line featuring Artem Anisimov and Brandon Saad. Lance Bouma came off the “Energy” fourth line to join Nick Schmaltz and Alex DeBrincat on the third line, while Patrick Sharp was with Tommy Wingels and Richard Panik on the fourth.
It was a bold move to bolster the Blackhawks’ offense – and a sagging power play – but it wasn’t enough against a power of the Eastern Conference.
In three-and-a-half minutes of the first period, the Capitals took a 3-0 lead at the United Center and the Blackhawks never caught up in a 6-2 loss at the Verizon Center on Wednesday night. Now the Blackhawks are 12-11-5 on the season and haven’t seen a victory in a week-and-a-half.
While the lines produced a fair amount of chances, 39 over the course of 60 minutes, only two got past Braden Holtby and the didn’t come till after Washington built that three-goal lead in the first. Bouma got a score after the flurry in the first, but the Blackhawks didn’t get another till the third period when Jonathan Toews put one in the net with 3:42 to go.
That was way too late.
Niklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin’s first period goals were added to in the second by Brett Connolly and then in the third Evgeny Kuznetsov. After Toews’ goal, the Capitals added one more for good measure when Wilson got his second goal of the game on empty net. Anton Forsberg was off his game after a strong performance, allowing the three first period goals after facing just ten shots before getting pulled for Jean-Francois Berube.
Once again, the Blackhawks’ power play was a no show, missing on all four opportunities on the night. During the five-game slide, the Blackhawks are 1-for-21 when skating with the man advantage.
Now the questions is how Quenneville will try to shake things up next to get the Blackhawks winning again.