Photo: Dave Sanford/Getty Images
On Tuesday morning, defenseman Brooks Orpik announced his retirement after 15 seasons in the NHL. The 38-year-old, San Francisco, California native spent five seasons with the Capitals and played a key role in the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup victory. Although he was not a frequent goal-scorer, NoVa Caps looks back on two particular postseason goals by Orpik that are perhaps his most memorable during his time in the District.
May 30, 2018- Stanley Cup Final – Game 2
The Vegas Golden Knights led the 2018 Stanley Cup Final with a win in Game 1. It was quite a messy game as both teams were still getting a feeling of playing in the final series for the Cup. The Capitals needed to turn on their play for Game 2 and they did. With goals from center Lars Eller and captain Alex Ovechkin, Orpik scored halfway through the second period to make it 3-1, a lead which would be trimmed to one goal, but ultimately secured a victory for the visiting team. Three wins later, the Capitals won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.
Orpik’s game-winning goal was his first goal of the 2018 postseason, in addition to four assists throughout the playoff run. He also ended a scoring drought; the last goal coming on February 26, 2016.
April 13, 2019- Stanley Cup Playoffs, First Round – Game 2
The Capitals had one thing on their mind heading into the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and that was to defend their title as Stanley Cup Champions. After an incredible Game 1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes, the adrenaline, speed, and scoring remained present for Game 2. Hurricanes’ center Jordan Staal tied the game 3-3 late in the third period with a power play goal. The game then headed to overtime for the first time in the series.
Only 1:48 into overtime, Orpik scored the game-winning goal for the Capitals off the bench, scoring on an excellent pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov. The goal gave the Capitals a 4-3 lead and 2-0 series lead, one of two points for Orpik in the series.
While the Capitals ultimately failed to defend their title, Orpik’s goal was a huge momentum booster and certainly a memorable moment from his time in Washington, which was marked by contributions both on and off the ice.
By Della Young