Capitals Down Devils, 4-0; Samsonov Records First Shutout of the Season, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Sheary Score

Photo: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-0 at Capital One Arena on Friday. The win improved the Capitals record to 22-7-4 (48 points) on the season and first place in the MassMutual East Division. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov recorded his first shutout in the victory. The Capitals also improved to 5-1-0 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season.

Lines & Pairs

Photo: @Capitals

Scratches: Center Lars Eller (lower-body; missed his sixth straight game) and defensemen Jonas Siegenthaler and Trevor van Riemsdyk

First Period

Captain Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring at the 5:58 mark, giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead with his 16th goal of the season and No. 722 overall. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted.

At the 11:50 mark, center Nicklas Backstrom extended the Capitals’ lead 2-0 with his 13th goal thus far, which passed his total from the shortened 2019-20 season in 28-fewer games. Forwards Tom Wilson and Conor Sheary had the helpers.

Quick Stats

SOG: 9-9

Power-Play: 0/1 Capitals

Face-Off Win %: 55% (Capitals), 46% (Devils)

Hits: 5-4 Devils

Second Period

The Capitals would maintain their 2-0 lead in a scoreless middle frame.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 19-14 Devils

Power-Play: 0/2 Devils

Face-Off Win %: 55% (Capitals), 46% (Devils)

Total Hits: 8-8

Third Period

With his 7th goal of the season and second point of the night (1g, 1a), Sheary gave the Capitals a 3-0 lead 7:13 into the final period. Wilson picked up the lone assist, which marked his eighth career multi-assist game.

Ovechkin netted his second goal of the game (17th of the season and No. 723 overall) with 3:22 left. He now has 10 goals in his last 10 games. Kuznetsov and forward T.J. Oshie assisted.

And 4-0 would be the final score with Samsonov recording his first shutout of the season.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 31-24 Capitals

Power-Play: 0/2 Devils

Face-Off Win %: 47% (Capitals), 53% (Devils)

Total Hits: 14-9 Capitals

Notes Through the Game

  • The Capitals’ “Blue Star of the Game” was Sarah Levine, a Registered Dietician from Clarksburg, MD. During select games the third jersey is worn, the team honors a frontline worker as the team’s Blue Star of the Game, who will be spotlighted, receive a jersey, and be an honorary member of the game’s starting lineup in honor of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ovechkin is now 9 goals shy of surpassing Marcel Dionne (731g) for fifth place on the NHL’s All-Time Goals List.
  • Since his NHL debut on March 10, 2014, Kuznetsov entered tonight’s game ranked fourth among players with at least 200 games played in assists per 60 minutes of five-on-five play (1.57), only trailing Connor McDavid (1.82), Artemi Panarin (1.64) and Mitchell Marner (1.58).
  • Ovechkin recorded his 810th career even-strength point, tying Brendan Shanahan for the 4th most among left-wingers in NHL history behind only Johnny Bucyk (922), Luc Robitaille (881) & Bobby Hull (817).
  • Sheary recorded an assist on Backstrom’s goal, his fifth of the season.
  • Wilson picked up his third assist in his last three games and his 20th point (7g, 13a) in his 24th game. Wilson’s nine primary assists are tied with Oshie for the third-most on the team.
  • Ovechkin’s second goal marked the 148th multi-goal game of his career, passing Gordie Howe for the fourth-most in NHL history.
  • Over their last 17 games, Washington holds a record of 14-2-1, good for a .853 point percentage during that span.
  • Samsonov stopped all 24 shots faced, earning his first shutout of the season and his second career shutout. He improves to 7-1-1 this season. In 31 career starts, Samsonov is 22-6-3, which equates to a .710 win percentage.
  • Samsonov’s first career shutout was a 23-save performance vs. the Carolina Hurricanes on January 13, 2020.
  • Washington is 13-0-0 in games this season where they allow two or fewer goals, the only team in the MassMutual East Division without a loss in these conditions.
  • Ovechkin was credited with his 116th career game-winning goal, which is three shy of passing Phil Esposito (118) for the third-most in NHL history.
  • With two points (1g, 1a) against New Jersey, Sheary recorded his third multi-point game of the season and his 30th career multi-point game.
  • Wilson’s 0.83 point per game rate ranks fourth on the Capitals and is a single-season career-high.
  • With two primary assists against New Jersey, Evgeny Kuznetsov has now recorded consecutive multi-point games and has registered 11 points (3g, 8a) in his last nine games.
  • Kuznetsov’s 10 primary assists this season rank second on the Capitals (Justin Schultz: 12).
  • Center Nic Dowd led the Capitals in takeaways with three against New Jersey. Dowd’s 23 takeaways this season leads the Capitals and his 2.80 takeaways per 60 rank 10th in the NHL among forwards with at least 30 games played.
  • Samsonov, Ovechkin, and Sheary were the Three Stars of the Game.

The Capitals wrap-up a six-game homestand on Sunday when the New York Rangers come to town. NBC will have the coverage starting at 12 PM ET.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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4 Responses to Capitals Down Devils, 4-0; Samsonov Records First Shutout of the Season, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Sheary Score

  1. Marky says:

    Wow. Good game. Sammy looked very good too.

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