Washington worked hard to get this game, by the sound of things, as the league has been trying to get these Winter Classic games to big markets with big players to attract all the casual fans and how could anyone complain with a regular in the Stanley Cup conversation against a team that offers some of the most electric players in the league.
Even though it was a sunny day in Washington, the game still managed to start on time, despite some concern from the league officials that the glare would be too much to handle. Besides some sunglasses worn by Washington's Karl Alzner, everyone resorted to the eyeblack and the two teams went at it, with the shadow of Nationals Park enveloping the playing surface through the 1st period and then it was all shadows in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
The game ended up to be a pretty simple story to follow... the Capitals went up two early on in the 1st, the Blackhawks managed to claw back to even steven, early in the 2nd, then a late penalty call on Chicago in the 3rd period led to a goal by Troy Brouwer and the home team walked away with a big win. Capitals win, 3-2, allowing them to leapfrog the New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division standings, getting into a division playoff spot.
By virtue of the regular tie-breaking standards, the Player of the Game nod in the Winter Classic was Alex Ovechkin, who notched a goal and an assist in the win. Ovechkin belongs to the pool leaders, Kristy & Don, who really didn't need the 2 points, but what can we do about it?
In terms of pool teams, it was an award-less victory for Stacey C., who finished with 4 points out of the game, thanks to the Braden Holtby win and a couple more points from the Chicago side of the ledger. Stacey is slowly working his way up the standings, as he tries to recover from an awful start to the year. This game would have certainly helped his cause, as he went into the late game on Thursday night, only 1 point behind Mike for 15th in the standings.
Below is a quick review of all the point taken from the Winter Classic in the pool:
|Corey Crawford||Dale C.||0||Braden Holtby||Stacey C.||2|
|Patrick Kane||Stacey C.||1||Nicklas Backstrom||Wilton||0|
|Jonathan Toews||Stacey M.||1||Alex Ovechkin||Kristy & Don||2|
|Kris Versteeg||Stacey C.||0||Marcus Johansson||Clayton||0|
|Brandon Saad||Wes||1||Joel Ward||Stuart||0|
|Marian Hossa||Stacey C.||1||Troy Brouwer||Kristy & Don||1|
|Brad Richards||Clayton||0||Evgeny Kuznetsov||Benson||0|
|Andrew Shaw||Stacey M.||0|
|Brent Seabrook||Leo||0||John Carlson||Kristy & Don||0|
|Duncan Keith||Clayton||1||Mike Green||Troy||2|
|Niklas Hjalmarsson||Dale C.||0||Matt Niskanen||Cam||0|