Capitals Get First Ever Win vs. Kraken With 5-2 Victory Before West Canada Trip; Ovechkin Notches Three Points, Sheary Two Goals

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals won by a score of 5-2 in the Seattle Kraken’s first-ever visit to Capital One Arena on Saturday night. The team is now just a point behind the Boston Bruins (who have a game in hand) for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and six behind the New York Rangers (two) for third in the Metropolitan Division. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 29 saves in the victory against the team that selected him in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

Capitals’ Lines vs. Kraken

Photo: @Capitals

Left-wing Axel Jonsson-Fjallby replaced Daniel Sprong in the lineup while Conor Sheary moved up a line. Ilya Samsonov backed up Vanecek after not dressing in the Capitals’ 4-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday due to an apparent upper-body injury.

Injured: LW Carl Hagelin (eye, missed second game, indefinite); LW Joe Snively (upper-body, second, week-to-week)

Scratched: LHD Michal Kempny, LHD Matt Irwin

Kraken captain Mark Giordano played in his 1,000th career NHL game.

First Period

After captain Alex Ovechkin was covered by four Kraken defenders and was pushed off of the puck in the slot, right-wing Tom Wilson took the puck to the net on the backhand and opened the scoring at 11:30. Wilson has scored the first goal of the game in each of the Capitals’ first two ever tilts vs. Seattle. The goal was Wilson’s third in the last three games and marks the sixth time this season Wilson scored the game’s first goal, which leads the team.

Defenseman Dmitry Orlov hammered a one-timer through the five-hole of goaltender Chris Driedger from out high after center Nic Dowd fed him from the half-wall to double the Capitals’ lead 34 seconds later. It marked the seventh time this season the Capitals have scored two goals within a minute of each other.

Kraken right-wing Joonas Donskoi slammed a rebound in after Vanecek robbed center Riley Sheahan’s deflection off of defenseman Jamie Oleksiak’s shot from the point to cut the Capitals’ lead in half with 3:04 left.

The Capitals led 19-7 in hits and 10-1 in blocked shots in the first 20 minutes.

The Kraken led 10-6 in shots, 2-0 in takeaways, had a giveaway while the Capitals had three, won 53% of the draws, and did not score on their first power-play opportunity through 20 minutes.

Second Period

Right-wing Colin Blackwell ripped a shot past Vanecek’s blocker from the slot after Capitals defenseman John Carlson blocked his first attempt to tie it 58 seconds into the second.

Left-wing Conor Sheary tapped in a loose puck at the doorstep after Ovechkin’s shot from the dot was blocked and Driedger stopped Wilson’s shot from the slot to give the Capitals their lead back on the power-play with 8:12 to go.

The Capitals led 13-9 in second-period shots, 27-14 in hits, 16-10 in blocked shots, and scored on their lone power-play in the first two periods.

The Kraken led 3-0 in takeaways, had two giveaways while the Capitals were credited with seven, won 53% of the draws, and did not score on two opportunities on the man advantage through 40 minutes.

Each team fired 19 shots on net through two.

Third Period

Ovechkin blasted a one-timer through the left arm of Driedger from the high left dot after Carlson fed him from up top to double the Capitals’ lead on the power-play 47 seconds into the third. That marked his second straight game with a power play goal and he now has 34 goals on the season. He’s also tallied his third point of the night (one goal), his seventh game this season with at least three points. That marks the first time in Ovechkin’s career he’s scored a goal against Driedger, his 154th different goaltender he’s scored on in his career. There have been 6,693 skaters in NHL history with 154 or fewer goals in their career. The Capitals scored two power play goals on two power play opportunities against Seattle, marking their second-straight game with multiple power goals. The Capitals have scored a power play goal in 10 of their last 13 games and are 13 for 43 (30.2%) on the power play since January 28.

Sheary sped past Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn off of the defensive zone draw and took the puck to the empty net for his second of the night with 2:10 left and make it 5-2. The goal was the 100th in his NHL career and point was the 200th.

The Capitals led 35-18 in hits, 22-12 in blocked shots, and scored twice on two power-plays.

The Kraken led 31-25 in shots (including 12-6 in the third), 7-5 in takeaways, had three giveaways while the Capitals were credited with 11, and did not score on three opportunities on the man advantage.

The teams split the battle at the dot.

Next game: Tuesday at Calgary Flames (9 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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