When people think of the new Capitals “Young Guns”, most think of Evgeny Kuznetsov, Michael Latta, and Tom Wilson. There’s one more player that needs recognition and that is Andre Burkovsky, the youngest of the other three.
The 20 year-old center made an impact from his very first NHL game last season. The Capitals opened their 2014-15 campaign on October 9 at Verizon Center and 6:43 into the season, he scored his first career goal. It was the second fastest first-career goal in franchise history. Jim Hrycuik’s goal at 5:06 was the fastest first-career goal, which happened on October 9, 1974- the first game in Capitals history. Burakovsky was also one of just seven players in franchise history to score a goal in his NHL debut and season opener.
Burakovsky finished the regular season with nine goals and 13 assists in 53 games played, good for 22 points. He even made an impact in the playoffs. In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. the Rangers, he scored two goals including the game-winner that gave the Caps the 2-1 lead and put them up in the series 3-1.
So far this season, Burakovsky has four goals, six assists and 10 points, including two goals in his last four games. Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins, he got the scoring started at 15:01 in the first period. Off of a great pass by Evgeny Kuznetsov from the other side of the ice, Burakovsky came down and shot the puck right into the net to put Washington up 1-0.
“When Kuznetsov had the puck, Willy (Tom Wilson) and I, our job is to find the open ice because we know Kuzy can give us the puck as soon as we’re open for like a half-second, the puck is going to be there. Our job is to just find open spots on the ice because Kuzy can find those open (passing) lanes,” said Burakovsky.
The Caps would go on to win, snapping their two game losing streak, with a final score of 3-2. Burakovsky and the Capitals continue their five game road swing on Thursday night against the New York Islanders. Puck drop from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is at 7:00 p.m.
By Michael Marzzacco