Aliaksei Protas Scores First NHL Goal in Victory Over the Carolina Hurricanes, Earns Post-Game Viking Axe

Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

While he entered the 2021-22 season with no NHL experience, Washington Capitals forward Aliaksei Protas has played solidly since making his NHL debut earlier this season and since gaining playing time, even earning a spot on the Caps’ top-line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. In Sunday’s matinee contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, Protas notched his first NHL goal, continuing a productive stretch of games.

The goal, which was assisted by defenseman John Carlson, came at the 12:57 mark of the first period, giving the Capitals a 2-0 lead that would turn into an eventual 4-2 victory.

Protas became the sixth rookie to score his first career goal for the Caps this season, joining other Capitals draft picks with his first NHL marker.

After the game, Protas was awarded the team’s Viking axe, given to the offensive player of the game for the team by his teammates. Ovechkin handed the puck to Protas, who responded simply, “See you on the plane”.

During Protas’ intermission interview with Alexa Landestoy and Alan May from the NBC Sports Washington studios, some Caroline fans decided to “have some fun”, much to the chagrin of Capitals’ faithful.

“It feels unreal”, said Protas, when asked about his thoughts on seeing the puck go in the net, “I had really good chances created by Ovi and Kuzy in first period, so just tried to put the puck in the net, play a little bit more simple, so it’s awesome, unreal feeling”.

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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6 Responses to Aliaksei Protas Scores First NHL Goal in Victory Over the Carolina Hurricanes, Earns Post-Game Viking Axe

  1. novafyre says:

    When Caps were in California, we were told Caps were second to Ducks or Sharks in having rookies with points. Number 1 had 8 we had 7. When I look at the stats list in NHL.com I count 8 Caps rookies now with points. That would jive with us having 7 when out west. Are we disagreeing on definition of rookie?

  2. novafyre says:

    Or are you counting goals and I’m counting points?

  3. Anonymous says:

    “score” probably implies goal

  4. Anonymous says:

    He was due all game and all month. It was just a matter of time.

  5. DWGie26 says:

    Protas looks really good and comfortable on that top line. Love what he is bringing! Gonna be hard to send him back to Hershey when people get healthy!

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