The Washington Capitals crushed the Ottawa Senators 7-1 on Saturday night in front of a raucous, sellout crowd at Verizon Center, as Alexander Ovechkin scored the 500th and 501st goals of his NHL career. The Capitals improved their record to a gaudy 32-7-3, which continues to be the best in all of the NHL.
Philip Grubauer got the start in net for the Capitals. Andrew Hammond got the start for the Senators.
John Carlson missed his eighth straight game since sustaining a lower body injury against Montreal on December 26th. Brooks Orpik missed his 29th straight game since sustaining a lower body injury in Detroit on November 10th. Jay Beagle missed his sixth straight game due to an injury to his hand he sustained in the game against the Buffalo Sabres on December 30th. Marcus Johansson miss this game to serve the second of his two-game suspension. Michael Latta missed the game due to an upper body injury. Mike Richards was the healthy scratch.
The Capitals were once again quick on the start, scoring twice in the first 11 minutes of the opening frame. And the onslaught would never stop. Alex Ovechkin would score two goals, including the 500th of his NHL career. Philipp Grubauer had a good game, stopping 32 of 33 shots for the game. The Caps have matched their second longest home ice winning streak in franchise history at 10 games. More coverage on Ovechkin’s 500th goal can be found here: NHL game stats can be found here: Individual player stats for the game can be found here: Face-off stats can be found here:
The Capitals launched out of the starting blocks with several early scoring chances, but to no avail. Washington would be called for the game’s first penalty at 1:42 into the first on a hooking call on Justin Williams. The Senators were able to manufacture several good chances, however Gurbauer was up to the task. Justin Williams would start the scoring on a wrister from the right dot at 8:07. the score was setup on a nice feed from Andre Burakovsky.
T.J. Oshie would draw an interference call on Bobby Ryan at 10:11 to give the Caps their first power play. T.J. Oshie would bury a close-range shot to stretch the Capitals lead to 2-0 at 10:58 of the opening frame.
The Capitals would go back on the power play at 12:44 of the first period. The Capitals were able to generate five shots on goal, but were unable to find the twine. Dmitry Orlov was called for cross-checking at 15:29, giving the Senators their second man advantage. The Capitals penalty kill would stand tall and successfully kill the penalty. Philipp Grubauer would be called for hooking at 18:28 of the first period, but would not allow any scoring chances. The period would end with the Capitals leading 2-0. The Capitals led in shots on goal, 12-7. Alex Ovechkin had seven shot attempts in the first period.
The second period started with the Sens working with 27 seconds remaining on their man advantage, but they could not cash-in. As Alex Ovechkin exited the penalty box, Nicklas Backstrom fed him on a break-away, and Ovechkin let one rip that clanked off the post, just missing number 500. The Senators were able to dial-up some additional pressure during 5-on-5 play in the early going of the second period, and would ultimately cut the Caps lead in half at 3:32 of the middle frame on a Capitals offensive zone turnover and a sharp wrister by Mike Hoffman.
That would be it for the visiting Senators. Zach Sill would regain the two-goal lead for Washington on a nice and lucky shot at 6:01 of the second period.
Dmitry Orlov would stretch the lead to 4-1 on a slap shot from the top of the right circle at 7:55 of the middle frame.
Dmitry Orlov would be called for holding at 10:50, giving the Senators their third power play of the night. The Capitals penalty kill unit would once again due their job, with no damages done. The Capitals would go on the power play on a tripping call on Mark Stone at 15:20 of the second period. Alex Ovechkin would then make history, scoring his 500th goal of his NHL career.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 5-1. The Capitals led in shots on goal, 29-25 after two periods of play. More coverage of the celebration of Ovechkin’s 500th goal can be found here:
Tom Wilson would add another goal at 8:28 on a shot from behind the goal that somehow found the back of the net. Alex Ovechkin would net number 501 on a beauty at 9:46 of the third period, giving the Capitals a 7-1 lead.
The Capitals would win this one going away, 7-1.