Andre Burakovsky Scores Twice in Dallas, Makes Big Impact in Capitals Overtime Win

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Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Andre Burakovksy had a slow start to the season, but finally broke through for his first goal of the season in his eighth game. Unfortunately the next night he injured his left thumb and was out of action from late-October until December. The 22-year old left winger returned to action on Dec. 8 and on Tuesday night, in his sixth game back from injury, Burakovsky scored twice and recorded three points. He lit the lamp to both begin the game and end the game as the Capitals defeated the Stars 4-3 in overtime

“I just felt really good in the morning skate this morning. During the warmup I felt great too, so I had a really good feeling going into this game and I liked the play (of the game). It was a good atmosphere, good fans and it’s a fast type of hockey. That’s what I like. There was a lot of up-and-down to it, a lot of skating and that’s the type of games I like so it was a fun night,” said Burakovsky.

Just over midway through the period, at 10:35, Brett Connolly came down the ice along the boards and hit Burakovsky with a side pass through the legs of Greg Pateryn. Burakovsky fired the puck immediately to beat Ben Bishop.

“I came up the rush. I was screaming to Conno (Connolly) to give it to me. As soon as I got it, I was looking up real quick to see how the goalie was standing and then I tried to place it on the far side (of the net). That worked out,” Burakovsky told Alan May of NBC Sports Washington during the first intermission.

“I was gonna actually go middle and then that kind of got taken away,” Connolly added after the game. “I think it was Lars (Eller) driving so I just.. I knew Burky (Burakovsy) was somewhere over there so I tried to get it (the puck) over there as hard as I could and then found a lane and Burky buried it. It was good to see him get that one too.”

Scoring goals wasn’t the only highlight of Burakovsky. The NBCSW cameras caught Burakovsky sitting along the Capitals bench as he was about to sip a Gatorade. Unfortunately for poor Burakovsky, the Gatorade bottle slipped out of his left hand.

The Capitals fought hard, both figuratively and literally, as both teams traded goals back and forth. You can read more on the rest of the game here and even witness a highlight-reel goal from Dmitry Orlov here. Thanks to this quick (don’t blink) tally by Connolly that Burakovsky assisted on, the Capitals forced overtime.

In that extra session, Burakovsky went top shelf to give the Capitals the win.

“Got a big performance from Burky’s line. I think that’ll be good for them going through this trip to give them a little confidence,” Braden Holtby told the media.  “He’s (Burakovksy) still pretty young, figuring out the mental game and games like this are going to help him. He’s got all the tools. He’s got a world-class shot, obviously everyone knows that. Tonight I think he used a little deception, he changed the way he released the puck. (Assistant coach) Scott Murray kind of went over some stuff with him after the last game, just trying to let him inside the goalie’s mind and you could tell those two shots tonight.. those are gonna go in on most goalies.”

“I think we were due. Burky comes back and I understand where he is coming back when you’ve been out for 20 games,” added Connolly. “It’s not easy coming back when you miss that much time and your timing’s off and the speed of the game is so fast… Big game by him. He was feeling it tonight and we’re gonna need him to play at a high level if we’re gonna be good here down the stretch in the right time of the year. He’s a big part of this team. He knows it. puts a lot of pressure on himself to play well and to score and create offense and I think he just needed that one good game.”

That one good game should boost not only Burakovsky’s confidence but the confidence of the third line as a whole. Now that Burakovsky is healthy, look for more production coming from the third line. Tuesday night in Dallas was just the beginning.

By Michael Marzzacco

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8 Responses to Andre Burakovsky Scores Twice in Dallas, Makes Big Impact in Capitals Overtime Win

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Burakovsky’s goals were the Alpha and Omega of Caps scoring last night. (Fun fact: his name is the Slavic equivalent of Beethoven. Burak means “beet root” in Russian. So Burakovsky is from the place of the beet root. Beethoven — from the garden of beet root”.) We can now say “Beets from Dre”. He scores his 2 goals 3 days after Beethoven’s birthday

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