Capitals Rally To Topple Kings, 4-2; Alex Ovechkin Scores Natural Hat Trick

Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. The Kings opened the scoring with a tally from Jeff Carter at the 15 minute-mark for a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. The Capitals would tie the game with a tally from John Calrson midway through the middle frame for a 1-1 tie at the second intermission. The Kings would grab the lead midway through the final frame before Alex Ovechkin responded with a natural hat trick in the period for the 4-2 victory. The win improves the Capitals record to 36-13-5 (77 points) for the season.


Braden Holtby (19-10-0-4, 3.11 GAA and a .896 save percentage) got the start in goal for the Capitals. Jonathan Quick (11-19-0-3, 3.02 GAA, .913 save percentage) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Kings. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Vitek Vanecek was the backup netminder to Braden Holtby. He was recalled by the Capitals earlier in the day, due to an injury sustained by Ilya Samsonov in morning skate.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Ilya Samsonov (Injury).

The Kings would start the scoring with a goal from Jeff Carter (15) at 15:03 of the first frame.

That would be all of the scoring in the first period. Los Angeles led in shots on goal 8-6. Kings led in shot attempts 12-10 for the first frame. Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play in the first frame.

The Capitals would tie the game with a goal from John Carlson (14) at 7:25 of the middle frame. Nicklas Backstrom (31) and Carl Hagelin (12) had the helpers.

And that would be all of the scoring in the middle frame. The Kings led in shots on goal 10-6 for the second period and 18-12 after two periods. The Kings led in shot attempts 22-11 in the second period and 34-21 after two periods.

The Kings regained the lead with a goal from Jeff Carter (16) at 11:33 of the final period. The goal was Carter’s second of the contest.

The Capitals would answer with a goal from Alex Ovechkin (38) at 13:50 0f the final frame, tying the game at 2-2.

The Capitals would take their first lead of the game with Alex Ovechkin’s second goal (39) of the period at 15:00.

Alex Ovechkin would add an empty net goal late in the final frame for the natural hat trick and the 4-2 win.

The Capitals led in shot attempts 15-14 for the final period. Los Angeles led in shot attempts 48-36 for the game.


  • Alex Ovechkin scores an empty net goal to complete his 27th career hat trick. Ovechkin passes Maurice Richard for the eighth most hat tricks in NHL history.
  • Ovechkin’s third goal of the game marks his 40th goal of the season, the 11th time he has reached the 40-goal mark in his career. Only Wayne Gretzky (12) has more 40-goal seasons in NHL history.
  • Alex Ovechkin’s natural hat trick came in a span of 4:24 minutes. The franchise record for the quickest three goals by one player is 3:26 minutes, accomplished by Stan Gilbertson on April 6, 1975 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  • John Carlson scored to tie the game at 1-1. That marks his 14th goal of the season and his 63rd point of the season, which leads all defensemen.
  • Carl Hagelin recorded an assist on Carlson’s goal. He’s now on a seven game point streak (3g, 4a), his first seven-game point streak of his career.


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Embracing my inner Viking at tonight’s Caps game!

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@capitals #ALLCAPS 🏒🔥

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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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5 Responses to Capitals Rally To Topple Kings, 4-2; Alex Ovechkin Scores Natural Hat Trick

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Ovechkin rescues Caps from yet another miserable performance

    LAK were ALL OVER the Caps. Defensive breakdowns — for them — right at the end.

    Just precisely when will the Caps play well again this season?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Actually a little concerned how much we’ve leaned on Ovi in the last 10-15 games, Day One.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. Turnovers, penalties, and lack of ability to handle the forecheck continue to plague the Caps.

        Glad to see Reirden earn his pay and finally switch up the top line – called the need early in the game but expected him to do the usual C switcheroo.

  2. Clifford Keefe says:

    This may be a minority opinion but as thrilled as I am about Alexander Ovechkin’s fourth hat trick this year, I really wish empty net goals didn’t count towards them. In fact I’d take it a step further and contend that the NHL ought to take a page from the NBA–who counts air balls that go out of bounds as “team rebounds”–and record empty net goals as “Team Goals”.

    To me, scoring a goal with nothing between the puck handler and the net but air cheapens the achievement considerably–kind of like firing pucks at a goaltender who plays with both hands tied behind his back–only worse…

    I mean, if I was the league arbiter, and two players finished tied for goals at the end of a season, the way I’d determine who the Rocket Richard Trophy winner was would be to go through the tapes, subtract all of the empty net goals each player scored and then recalibrate the scoring totals. In the rare event that both players still wound up tied, then I’d declare them “Co-Winners”…

    My three cents,

    Santa Monica

  3. Pingback: Capitals Re-assign Martin Fehervary To AHL Hershey | NoVa Caps

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