Alex Ovechkin’s power play marker less than a minute into the game Tuesday against Vancouver came on a Brock Boeser high-sticking call at 36 seconds. Then John Carlson’s tally just past mid-way in the third period brought the Caps level with the Canucks.
It marked the first time this season Washington converted twice on the power play. The team has now moved up from the bottom to 17th in the league with a 24.1% power play conversion rate. They now have the third-best conversion rate for teams that have already played four games.
So what changed?
“We’re just kind of encroaching a little bit more than we were, trying to not so much set up a play but find a play,” Carlson said. “Just move and find a play versus let’s drag this guy over here, let’s try to isolate this guy. With that mindset we’ve got ourselves into better positions and got to the interior a lot more. Sometimes pucks just find their way to you.”
Head coach Peter Laviolette added that what they worked on with their power play unit in practice the last few days seems to have translated well into game situations.
“We liked the way it looked in practice,” he said. “It just had a different look and in both games I thought we moved it well and got the puck to the interior.”
Laviolette also said having a guy like Marcus Johansson step up his play in power play situations has made a world of difference the last couple days.
“He’s helped a lot I think just mixing it up a little bit,” Laviolette said. “It’s different personnel and everybody brings a little something different to the table. It’s early but it’s nice to get off the mark and get some power play goals and have it make a difference in a hockey game.”
The Caps will look to carry that momentum on the man advantage over to Ottawa on Thursday.
By Jordan Bondurant