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Tonight on NBCSN: Capitals look to rebound against streaking Blackhawks

Mar 18, 2012, 10:36 AM EDT

Alex Ovechkin, Dylan Olsen

The Washington Capitals are in quite the fight to make the playoffs and the Chicago Blackhawks would like nothing more than to add to their misery when the two face off at United Center (7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The Hawks have some motivation of their own as they’re just four points back of the Predators for fifth in the West and five back of fourth.

The Caps were cruising along on a hot streak that saw them win four in a row until they ran into the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. The Caps are just two points up on the Jets and Sabres for eighth and getting back on track with a win would be huge. Leading the way of late for the Caps are Brooks Laich and Marcus Johansson. Laich has four goals in the last six games and Johansson has three assists in the last two games.

What about Alex Ovechkin though? In the Caps’ last five games, Ovechkin has three goals and an assist with two of those tallies coming against the Islanders. It’s decent production, but if the Caps are going to make the postseason they’ll need more out of Ovechkin than just his ability to pick stunning upsets in the NCAA tournament.

One guy the Caps will be going without today is Tomas Vokoun as he’s got a nagging injury. Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby will hold things down in the meantime.

Chicago, on the other hand, has started to figure themselves out even without Jonathan Toews in the lineup. While Toews is still battling a concussion, guys like Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, and Patrick Sharp have all elevated their games. The Hawks have been getting solid goaltending as well with Corey Crawford doing his job and it has paid off as Chicago has won six of their last eight games.

  1. bcjim - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Cap fans just hoping for honest semi competent officiating.

  2. bmoreredfury311 - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    I’m just hoping for a all around team effort and a win, screw the refs. Caps need to be mentally strong and over come bad calls. Things happen, just respond in the right way.

  3. jim93402 - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Bad timing for your caps boys..the hawks need the points just as bad as the caps. Hawks win 4-2

  4. rgledz - Mar 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    How sad is that! Making excuses before the game even starts. Are the refs your excuse for a sub par season? I’m sure they all got together at the beginning of the season and said “let’s screw the Caps all year”. You guys blame everyone…..it’s the refs it was Boudreau, etc. Maybe start with the players and go from there. Go Hawks!

  5. johnnyru131 - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    I actually hope the Hawks stay in the 6the seed do they can face either the Stars or Coyotes in the first round. If they get the 4th or 5th seed then they’ll either face Det or Nas. Just saying for the first I want them to have the easier matchup. Not saying they couldn’t beat Det or Nas.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Nashville more than anyone scares me. They are just too well-coached at a style that can shut them down, and Rinne is amazing.

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