Playoff Orpik: The Two Goals That Are Unforgettable

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

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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