The Caps were locked in a tight one with the Chicago, but ultimately fell to the Blackhawks 3-2. Here is the postgame analysis:
How it happened: The Caps led for only 31 seconds in the first period before Chicago took over. The Blackhawks took the 2-1 lead in the second period thanks to a power play goal from Jonathan Toews while Dennis Rasmussen added a controversial insurance tally in the third (more on that later). The Caps rallied to make it 3-2 on a two-man advantage, but could climb no closer.
What it means: The Caps and Blackhawks have split their season series with each team winning once at home. Chicago, however, was without some of its new additions with Christian Ehrhoff and Dale Wiese not in the lineup. Andrew Ladd, who was acquired by the Blackhawks on Thursday in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets, had one assist. The Caps may not do anything at the trade deadline, but if general manager Brian MacLellan was looking for a reason to make another move, this loss to one of the major Cup contenders in the West could be it.
A controversial finish: Rasmussen's game-winning goal came in controversial fashion as the Caps believed the play should have been whistled dead for icing. Nate Schmidt appeared to beat Richard Panik to the faceoff circle and to the red line, but the linesman did not agree, allowing the play to continue. Expecting a whistle, the Capitals players stopped. Panik then took advantage, kicking the puck to a wide-open Rasmussen in front of the net. The goal would prove to be the game-winner.
Strong start: Marcus Johansson's power play tally in the first period snapped a seven-game streak in which the Caps have yielded the game's first goal. The lead was short-lived, however, as Patrick Kane scored just 31 seconds later to tie the game at one.
A headache for Johansson: Johansson took an elbow to the head from Toews in the third period. The play looked inadvertent as Toews was battling for position, but Johansson had to be looked at by the trainer. He did return later in the period, however.
Scoring race: With his goal, Kane pulled one closer to Alex Ovechkin in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy. Ovechkin came into Sunday's game with a five-goal over the second-place Kane (40 to 35).
What's next: The Caps return home for a date with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. While Sunday's game looked like a Finals preview, Tuesday's game could prove to be another playoff preview with Pittsburgh currently sitting in the last wildcard spot which would mean a first round matchup with Washington.