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While Alex Ovechkin passing Mark Messier for eighth all-time in Goals Scored was the major storyline in the Capitals’ Friday night victory against the Ottawa Senators, defenseman John Carlson made history in his own right, becoming the Capitals’ franchise assist leader among defensemen.
Carlson became the franchise leader on the assist that, ironically enough, set up Ovechkin’s own historic tally, an empty-net goal in the final minute of regulation.
The @capitals came 🆙 𝘽𝙄𝙂 on their short road trip! ✈️@JohnCarlson74 notched the #️⃣1️⃣ spot in assists by a defenseman in franchise history 🍎 @ovi8 secured the spot for 8️⃣th most goals in NHL history 🚨#ALLCAPS ➡️: https://t.co/DG9C6JDSompic.twitter.com/WgrQY7Ypqf
— MonumentalSportsNet (@MonSportsNet) February 1, 2020
Carlson, who entered the 2019-20 season with 313 helpers, has had himself a banner season, having scored 13 goals and added 49 assists for 62 points in 52 games played and has become the front-runner for the Norris Trophy. During his strong season, Carlson has passed Capitals defensive greats Kevin Hatcher and Calle Johansson to become the top helper in franchise history among blueliners. Carlson sits second behind Johannson in Points (465 to Johannson’s 474) and first in goals with 149. This season, the 27th overall pick in 2008 ranks fourth among all NHL rearguards in goals, and leads in assists and points, while averaging 24:41 of ice time a night for Head Coach Todd Reirden.
By Michael Fleetwood