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Morning After: Four Score

Dec 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Anthony Mantha (39) celebrates his goal with center Connor McMichael (24) and center Aliaksei Protas (21) against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off their 4-0 blanking of the Rangers back in DC Saturday night, the Caps rolled into Chicago looking to make it a clean sweep of the weekend. To do so, they’d have to take on a not-great but still scrappy ‘Hawks team led by teenage hotshot Connor Bedard, and avoid any sort of emotional letdown after that big victory over the Rangers.

They managed to do just that, bouncing back from a first strike by Chicago to score three unanswered in the second period – with contributions coming from three of the four forward lines, which we love to see – and putting together a solid, workmanlike effort to make it a four-point weekend.

Three Four Takeaways:

  • Last night was the third-straight game in which the Caps had something of an offensive explosion in the second period, a period they’ve struggled in all season; coming into their game against Chicago, the Caps were in the bottom handful of teams when it came to goals in that middle frame with just 19. Three goals last night, however, gives them eight second-period goals in their last three games.
  • In a game full of ugly goals, Anthony Mantha probably had the prettiest, picking up a great up-ice pass by Connor McMichael on a semi-breakaway. He then used his size, speed (dude outraced 18-year-old Connor Bedard) and hands to put one past the Chicago netminder – his second nice goal in as many nights.
  • Shoutout to Darcy Kuemper for putting together a very good game for himself, turning aside 32 of the 34 shots faced – including all six sent his way by Bedard. A nice bounceback game for him in his first appearance since getting pulled in the loss to the Coyotes last week.
  • Not really sure what set the referees off at the end of this game, prompting them to hand out 2+2+10 to Tom Wilson (and another 10 to T.J. Oshie) after a scuffle that had all 10 skaters on the ice involved, but…sure. Go off, stripes.

They Said It:

Talking Points