Recharging the Power Play: Marcus Johansson And Dylan Strome Adding Much-Needed Strength With the Man-Advantage

John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in their eleventh game of the 2022-23 regular season may have marked their third loss in their past four games, but some positives could be taken away from the defeat at Capital One Arena.

One of the key areas in which the Caps needed to improve upon from last season was their efficiency on the power play, with their once-vaunted unit struggling to a 23rd-best finish in 2021-22. After starting this season 0-9 with the man-advantage, the Washington special teams unit has come to life, thanks in part to the play of forwards Marcus Johansson and Dylan Strome.

Re-acquired by the Capitals at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline last season from the Seattle Kraken, Johansson (the team’s first-round pick in 2009) re-signed on a one-year deal in free agency last season, and his versatility has been essential with the team’s early season injury bug. Inserted onto the first power play unit to help jump-start the 0-for-9 skid, the man they call “MoJo” has answered the bell.

Johansson scored his third goal of the 2022-23 season on the power play, giving him three goals and six points in 11 Games Played this season; of those six points, four of them have come with the Caps up a man (one goal, three assists).

Strome, meanwhile, is proving to be a great signing by General Manager Brian MacLellan in the early season, with nine points (two goals, seven assists) the first 11 games of 2022-23. The 25-year old former third overall pick has performed as expected in the team’s top-six and is second on the team in Points, and first in Assists; the real impact, has also come on the power play.

Strome leads the team in Power Play Points, with one goals and four assists with a man up.

The productivity of Johansson and Strome has seen the Caps’ power play units place 17th in the NHL entering the game against the Golden Knights (during which they converted on one of two opportunities). The two averaged 3:13 and 4:01 power play time per game entering Tuesday, and played 1:28 and 1:11 against Vegas, respectively.

Both Strome and Johansson have been key components of the resurgent Capitals power play, a unit that may prove to be essential to the team’s success with the injuries piling up for Head Coach Peter Laviolette’s club, who now hold a 5-4-2 record. If their early production is any indication, the team just might be okay.

By Michael Fleetwood

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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