Another one-goal game, and another win for the Capitals on Sunday to extend their winning streak to eight games.
And this time, it took a little overtime heroics by Mike Knuble to get the job done against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Knuble took a pass down low in the slot from Marcus Johansson, fended off defenseman Duncan Keith, pulled the puck from backhand to forehand and fired it past goalie Corey Crawford for the 4-3 win in front of the 97th straight sellout at the Verizon Center and a national audience on NBC. The one-goal win is now old hat for the Caps. Seven of their eight wins during the current streak have been by just a goal.
After the game Knuble had rave reviews for Johansson, who helped him get his first tally since Feb. 26.
"A real head's up play by Marcus, it would have been very easy for him to bury his head right there and try to jam it through," Knuble said. "I put my stick to the side, and he put it on the tape, it was a very smart play by him."
Johansson may have felt extra pressure to make that play, considering it was his hooking penalty with less than two minutes to play that led to Chicago's tying goal.
The Hawks pulled the goalie to make it a 6-on-4 advantage and converted. Jonathan Toews tied it with 38 seconds left by corralling a rebound off the end boards following a shot wide of the net by Keith and pushing it under Braden Holtby for the equalizer.
Holtby, who picked up his fourth straight win, admitted he didn't have his A game Sunday, but fought through it for the victory. He failed to hug his post on the Hawks' second goal of the game, allowing a Tomas Kopecky shot to bounce off his back and in from a bad angle. He also got tangled with defenseman Dennis Wideman on the tying goal in the waning seconds, preventing him from covering the far post.
But overall, he made enough key saves to give his team a chance to win.
"I knew I'd have to keep my mind sharp, because it was one of those days where you're not feeling quite as good," Holtby said. "It's just an experience aspect. Before, I would have been a little phased by that second goal because it was a goal that shouldn't be going in. I just tried to calm myself down and make sure I'm still there."
The Caps now take their winning streak on the road for the next six games, including tough matchups against Montreal (twice), Detroit, Philadelphia and the suddenly surging Devils.
"It's going to be a real tough road trip in tough buildings," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We're going to see how good we are, that's for sure."