Capitals Oust Kings 3-1; John Carlson Scores Two Goals In First Period

Photo: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 Wednesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Capitals win was fueled by a pair of goals from John Carlson in the opening frame and strong play from rookie netminder Ilya Samsonov. The win improves  the Capitals’ record to 21-4-5 (47 points).

The Capitals will have the day-off on Thursday, then return to action on Friday when they wrap-up their west coast swing in Anaheim with a rematch against the Ducks. Puck drop is set for 10:00 PM.

The Capitals struck first with a goal from John Carlson less than five minutes into the contest and added a second goal, also from Carlson, for a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. After a scoreless middle frame, the Kings would get on the scoreboard early in the final frame but could not tie it up. The Capitals added an empty net goal from Tom Wilson for the 3-1 final.


Ilya Samsonov (6-2-0-1, 2.58 GAA, .914 sv%) started between the pipes for the visiting  Capitals. Jonathan Quick (7-10-0-1,  3.36 GAA, .882 sv%) got the start in goal for the Kings. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs:

Scratches: Nicklas Backstrom (upper body injury, day-to-day). Chandler Stephenson was traded on Monday to the Vegas Knights for a fifth round pick in the 2021 draft.

The Capitals grabbed the game’s first lead with a howitzer from John Carlson (10) at 4:36 of the first frame. The goal was unassisted and Carlson’s 100th of his NHL career.

The Capitals would make it 2-0 with a beauty of John Carlson (11) at 13:27, his second tally of the game. TJ Oshie (11) and Lars Eller (10) had the helpers.

The period would conclude with the Capitals leading 2-0.

Shots on goal were tied 8-8. Shot attempts were tied 15-15. The Kings were 0 for 1 on the power play in the first frame. The Capitals did not have a power play.

The Capitals and Kings skated to a scoreless middle frame. The Kings led in shots on goal 10-4 for the second period, and 18-12 after two periods.

The Capitals led in shot attempts 14-13 for the middle frame, and 29-28 after 40 minutes of play.

The Kings were 0 for 3 on the power play in the first two periods. The Capitals did not have a power play in the first two periods.

The Kings would get on the board early in the final frame with a goal from Blake Lizotte at 3:20 of the third period. Ilya Samsonov would play the puck rather carelessly behind the Capitals goal and was late to return to the crease in time for the stop.

The Kings kept up the pressure in the waning minutes of the final frame. Anze Kopitar rang one off the post with about five minutes remaining in the game, but we’re ultimately unable to tie the game.

The Capitals added an empty net goal from Tom Wilson (11) for the 3-1 final.


  • John Carlson scored the 100th goal of his NHL career in the first period.
  • John Carlson (718 GP) became the fifth defenseman in Capitals history to score 100 goals with the franchise.
  • Scoring a 2nd time, Carlson tied Al MacInnis (1990-91) & Denis Potvin (1975-76) for the most points by a defenseman in his team’s first 30 games of a season (42) since Bobby Orr had 56 to start off 1974-75.
  • The Capitals are now 7-0-3 against the Pacific Division this year. That’s the most points (17) of any team in the NHL against the division.
  • The Capitals are now 7-2-1 in back-to-back sets this season.
  • Washington improved to 13-2-1 on the road this season, the most road wins in the NHL.
  • Through 30 games, the Capitals are 21-4-5, setting a franchise record for most points (47) in their first 30 games of the season.
  • For the third time this season, Ilya Samsonov allowed just one goal against. Entering tonight’s game with a 2.58 goals against average, Samsonov has dropped it to a 2.42 GAA, the 12th-lowest in the NHL among goaltenders with at least 10 games played and lowest among rookies.


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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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3 Responses to Capitals Oust Kings 3-1; John Carlson Scores Two Goals In First Period

  1. Pingback: John Carlson Ties Al MacInnis And Denis Potvin For Most Points By A Defenseman In First 30 Games Since 1974-75 | NoVa Caps

  2. Day One Caps Fan says:

    These are heavy-duty West Coast Roadie games that no East team is supposed to win. Caps were a Holy Terror the past two nights! Hats off to the boys.

    Can they hold it all together for five months and win the Stanley Cup?

    PS Beninati did his research and found that before Ovechkin in San Jose, the last Cap to have a Hat Trick on the West Coast was in 1976! The players’ name was obscure even to me. Can any NovaCapsFan fanatic tell us who that player was?

  3. Pingback: Washington At Anaheim Preview: Capitals Wrap Up Road Trip Against Ducks On Friday | NoVa Caps

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