In a rematch of last week’s tilt that saw the Capitals get blown out by the tanking New Jersey Devils, Washington retook the ice and dominated on their way to a decisive 5-2 win.
Ilya Samsonov, the young Capitals netminder who has taken over the NHL with a winning streak that is poised to break franchise records. With the pending departure of Braden Holtby, Todd Reirden has leaned heavily on the Russian.
Goals from Carl Hagelin, Jakub Vrana, and Alex Ovechkin powered the Capitals to victory.
Ovechkin, who was high-sticked by Miles Wood in the mouth earlier in the game, potted two goals on the power-play. He completed the hat trick in the 3rd period, bringing his goal total to 31 on the year. The hat trick was the 29th of his career, tying him for 11th all-time in hat tricks. The best shooter of all time has not slowed down, folks.
The Capitals owned this one from start to finish, tallying 30 shots on net before the 3rd period had even began. With the win, Washington moves to 32-11-5, and they remain one point ahead of the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues for first place in the NHL.
- Ovechkin plays better when he is angry. The missed high-stick that sent Ovechkin to the dressing room early in the game changed the outcome, as the Great Eight came out of the locker room roaring.
- John Carlson is still having a marvelous season, but did not like his positioning on some of the plays tonight.
- Samsonov has made his case as the incumbent in net. Holtby appears to have lost the edge that made him so great in his first few seasons. With this win, Ilya has broken a rookie Capitals franchise record for goaltenders with his 9th straight victory.