Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Going back to the beginning of the season, Burakovksy was nine games in before he scored his first goal. That was October 25 at Rogers Place in a 4-1 loss to the against the Edmonton Oilers. His first assist would come three games later when the Capitals fell 4-3 in overtime to the Dallas Stars at Capital One Arena on November 3. When the Capitals were at the Minnesota Wild on November 13, it was a great night for the Swede as he posted a goal and an assist. Burakovsky recorded six points throughout the month of November. Unfortunately, his consistency in December was decreasing and so was his ice time.
When Washington welcomed the Detroit Red Wings into town on December 11, head coach Todd Reirden decided to scratch Burakovsky since forward T.J. Oshie was ready to come back from a concussion that cost him 11 games out of the lineup. That would also happen for the next four Capitals’ games. He returned to the lineup on the 21st as the Capitals took on the Buffalo Sabres. He played nine games during December and collected only one point, which was the game-winning goal against the Arizona Coyotes on the 6th, a game where he did not really play well. Just when you thought everything was going to be okay, something new popped up. Trade rumors were sparked that the Vancouver Canucks were interested in the young left winger. Even though it was roughly two months before the Trade Deadline, this left some fans worrying about #65’s future with the Capitals.
The team was back to work in the new year. While they hoped for a good month, it was not as they went just won three out of 12 games (3-6-3) and saw their longest losing streak since 2010-11, going seven straight without a victory (0-5-2). Although Burakovsky was a healthy scratch numerous times, he did end his scoring drought on January 22 in a wild 7-6 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.
After the much-needed break, the Capitals were eager to snap that streak. They were victorious in a 4-3 victory against the Calgary Flames on February 1 at Capital One Arena, which was quite a physical game. February was kind to Burakovsky; he earned eight points, including two goals. His productivity was increasing, so the Capitals decided to keep him after the NHL Trade Deadline for the remainder of the season to gear up for their push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Burakovsky has tallied four points this month, all goals, including a three game goal-scoring streak, his longest of the season to bring his season numbers to 12 goals, which is tied with his total set in 56 games last year, and 24 points, one behind last season’s total. His next point will be his 145th of his 320-game NHL career.
By Della Young