During the last decade, the Capitals led the NHL in wins, and were the third-most successful team in any decade, one marked by playoff failures, fantastic regular season success, and the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2018. During this period of dominance as a team, multiple players accomplished and recorded personal highlights in their careers. In this piece, NoVa Caps’ Diane Doyle examines just several of the many individual moments in the decade.
John Carlson Scores Gold Medal, Game-Winning Goal in 2010 World Junior Championships
On January 5, 2010, then 20-year old John Carlson scored his second goal of the 2010 World Junior Championship’s Gold Medal game against Team Canada, a goal scored in overtime that vaulted the Americans to World Champion status over arguably, their biggest rival. While technically speaking, this goal was done as a member of Team USA rather than as a member of the Washington Capitals (Carlson had only appeared in three NHL games up to that point and had most recently played with their American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears), it was still a memorable goal in the memory of the Capitals’ faithful.)
Alex Ovechkin Scores Career Goal No. 300
Alex Ovechkin scored the 300th goal of his career against the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 5, 2011, in a 3-2 win and a game that gave them the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Alex Ovechkin Scores Career/Capitals Goal No. 473 to Break Franchise Record
Alex Ovechkin scored his 473rd career and Capitals goal on April 2, 2015 against the Montreal Canadians. The goal broke the franchise record of 472 goals previously held by franchise great Peter Bondra, making Ovechkin the franchise leader in Goals. The Caps won the game 5-4 in a shootout.
Alex Ovechkin Scores Goal No. 500
Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal on January 10, 2016 against the Ottawa Senators at home in a game the Caps won 6-1, adding Ovechkin a second goal (#501) for good measure.
Alex Ovechkin Scores Goal for Career Point No. 1000
Alex Ovechkin earned his 1000th career point on January 11, 2017 by scoring less than a minute into a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on national TV on NBC’s Wednesday Night Rivalry. The Capitals would go on to win the game 5-2.
Alex Ovechkin Scores Goal No. 600
Alex scored his 600th career goal on March 12, 2018 against the Winnipeg Jets at home, the second of two goals he scored in the game. The final score was 3-2 in Overtime.
Nicklas Backstrom Earns Point No. 800
October 4, 2018 was Opening Night for the Washington Capitals of the 2018-19 season and night on which the team raised the franchise’s first Stanley Cup banner to the rafters. The night was also marked by Capitals franchise Assist Leader Nicklas Backstrom recording the 800th point of his NHL and Capitals career. For this point ,Backstrom received the pass from defenseman Matt Niskanen, then passed it to right wing T.J. Oshie, who knocked it towards the goal and scored. The Caps won the game 7-0.
John Carlson Climbs the Franchise Record Books
On November 9, 2019, in a game against the Vegas Golden Knights, John Carlson earned his 430th career point to move past Scott Stevens for second place among franchise defensemen in assists and career points. Carlson accomplished the feat by assisting on two Nicklas Backstrom goals in a game the Caps won 5-2.
Nicklas Backstrom Earns Point No. 900 in 900th Game with Ovechkin
December 20, 2019, a road game against the New Jersey Devils, marked the 900th NHL game in which Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom both appeared. Fittingly enough, he earned his 900th NHL point in the game in part due to a primary assist on an Ovechkin goal as part of a four-point night to catapult him to 900 points..
— Washington ☃️ Capitals (@Capitals) December 21, 2019
Alex Ovechkin Milestone Goals
By Diane Doyle