Alex Ovechkin Records 28th Career Hat Trick, Capitals Down Top-Ranked Panthers, 4-3

Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals downed the Florida Panthers 4-3 Friday evening at Capital One Arena. The victory improves the Capitals record to 13-3-5 (31 points) on the season.

The Panthers opened the scoring late in the first frame on a turnover in the Capitals defensive zone that was finished by Jonathan Huberdeau for a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.

The Capitals stormed out of the gates in the second period. Tom Wilson would tie the game with a shorthanded goal and the Capitals would quickly take their first lead on a pair of goals from Alex Ovechkin, for a 3-1 lead. The Panthers would answer midway through the period with a goal from Sam Reinhart for 3-2 Capitals lead at the second break.

Ovechkin would complete the hat-trick early in the third period for a 4-2 Capitals lead, but the Cats would quickly answer with a goal from Carter Verhaeghe, restoring the one goal deficit. That would be the final.


STATS


STARTERS

Ilya Samsonov (7-0-0-1, 2.22 GAA, .920 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Sergei Bobrovsky (9-0-0-2, 1.90 GAA, .940 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Panthers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: T.J. Oshie (lower-body injury), Lars Eller (COVID protocol), Nicklas Backstrom (hip ), Anthony Mantha (lower-body), Justin Schultz (lower-doy), Conor Sheary and Matt Irwin.


FIRST PERIOD

The Panthers opened the scoring late in the first frame with a goal from Jonathan Huberdeau (7) at 19:28 of the first period. The play was setup on a turnover by Trevor van Riemsdyk just inside the Capitals’ blueline.

The first period would end with the Panthers leading, 1-0. The Capitals led in shot attempts 23-16 and expected goals .75 to .63. Both teams were 0 for 1 on the man advantage in the first 20 minutes.


SECOND PERIOD

The Capitals tied the game early in the second period with a short-handed goal from Tom Wilson at 1:34 of the middle frame. John Carlson (15) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (18) had the helpers.

The Capitals would quickly make it 2-1 with a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin (16) at 2:50 of the second period. Tom Wilson (11) and Aliaksei Protas (2) had the assists.

Sergei Bobrovsky would leave the game for a potential injury (concussion protocol) and replaced by Spencer Knight following the Ovechkin goal.

The Capitals would make it 3-1 on Alex Ovechkin’s second goal of the game at 3:46 of the second period. Aliaksei Protas (3) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (19) had the assists.

The Panthers would cut the Capitals lead to one on a goal from Sam Reinhart (4)  at 6:49 of the second period. MacKenzie Weegar (10) and Brandon Montour (8) had the assists.

Sergei Bobrovsky returned to replace Spencer Knight with 2:48 remaining in the second period.

The second period would conclude with the Capitals leading 3-2. Shot attempts were tied 10-10. The Panthers edge the Capitals in expected goals .55 to .52. Florida was 0 for 3 and the Capitals 1 for 3 on the power play after two periods.


THIRD PERIOD

Alex Ovechkin (18) would complete the hat-trick at 4:02 of the third period. Evgeny Kuznetsov (20) and Tom Wilson (12) had the helpers.

But the Panthers would quickly answer with a goal from Carter Verhaeghe (7) at 5:36 of the final frame. Gustav Forsling (12) had the line assist.

The Capitals would hand on for the 4-3 win.


SHAVINGS

  • Tom Wilson ties the game 1-1 with a shorthanded goal, marking Wilson’s fifth goal in his last seven games and eighth overall.
  • Alex Ovechkin gave the Caps a 2-1 lead with his 16th goal of the season, which is the second most in the NHL. With the goal, Overchkin has passed Guy Lafleur (1,353 points) for 27th on the NHL’s all-time point list.
  • Ovechkin is additionally now two power play goals shy from passing Dave Andreychuk (274) for the most power play goals in NHL history.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his second goal of the game to give the Caps a 3-1 lead. He has now passed Brendan Shanahan (1,354) for the 26th most-points in NHL history.
  • Aliaksei Protas recorded two assists in the second period, marking his first career multi-point and assist game.
  • Aliaksei Protas recorded two assists in the second period, marking his first career multi-point and assist game.

SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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