Capitals Down Devils, 5-2; Alex Ovechkin Nets Hat Trick

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-2 at Capital One Arena on Thursday night. The win propelled the Capitals six points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division and one clear of the Boston Bruins for first in the Eastern Conference. Captain Alex Ovechkin recorded his 25th career hat-trick in the win to tie for ninth all-time in that category. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who started back-to-back games for the first time in his career, made 32 saves in the win.

Capitals’ Lines vs. Devils

The Capitals made no line changes from their last game, a 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

First Period

Forward Carl Hagelin banged in center Lars Eller’s feed from behind the net at the side of the goal 3:25 in but defenseman Michal Kempny did not keep the puck in at the blue line. The Devils came up successful on the offsides challenge to keep it a scoreless game.

Captain Alex Ovechkin blasted one to the top right corner after getting the puck from defenseman John Carlson off of a draw on a five-on-three power-play to make it 1-0 Capitals at 15:17.

Ovechkin struck off the draw again, wristing one past goaltender Louis Domingue’s blocker, to earn his 30th of the season and add to the Capitals’ lead with 51.9 seconds left in the first.

The Capitals led 15-9 in shots, 5-2 in takeaways, won 58% of the draws, and scored on one of their two power-plays in the first.

The Devils led 6-0 in blocked shots, 8-4 in hits, had only one giveaway while the Capitals had nine, and didn’t score on their lone man advantage of the period.

Second Period

Domingue was not on the bench to start the period for the Devils due to a lower-body injury. He did not return.

Hagelin got one back, one-timing a pass from Eller in the slot, after forward Richard Panik forced a turnover at the offensive blue line to extend the lead to 3-0 16 seconds into the second.

Forward Wayne Simmonds buried one past Samsonov’s glove after driving to the net and getting a feed from center Nico Hischier behind it to dent the Capitals’ lead to 3-1 51 seconds later.

The Capitals led 30-22 in shots, including 15-13 in the second, 6-5 in takeaways, won 58% of the draws, and went one-for-four on the power-play in the first two periods.

The Devils led 13-7 in hits, had five giveaways while the Capitals had 13, and went 0-for-3 on the man advantage through two.

Each team blocked nine shots and had six takeaways through 40 minutes of play.

Third Period

Center Blake Coleman raced passed Carlson after he blew a tire and went through Samsonov’s five-hole on the backhand to make it 3-2 shorthanded 3:34 into the third.

Forward Jakub Vrana potted a rebound through Schneider’s legs after he coughed up a rebound off of a shot from defenseman Dmitry Orlov to double the Capitals’ lead at 6:41.

A wide-open Ovechkin buried forward Tom Wilson’s behind the back pass at the front of the goal with nothing but net to look at after Wilson took the puck around the net to make it 5-2 with 4:18 to go.

The Capitals led 38-34 in shots, including 15-13 in the third, 9-8 in takeaways, won 59% of the draws, and went one-for-five on the power-play.

The Devils led 12-8 in third-period shots, 17-11 in hits, 18-13 in blocked shots, had six giveaways while the Capitals had 18, and went 0-for-4 on the man advantage.

The Capitals head to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon. Action from Nassau Coliseum can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 1 PM ET.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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8 Responses to Capitals Down Devils, 5-2; Alex Ovechkin Nets Hat Trick

  1. Pingback: Throw the Hats! Alex Ovechkin Completes Hat Trick on Beautiful Feed From Tom Wilson | NoVa Caps

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good effort, power play is still a mess. Can’t get too excited beating the Devils.

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