Hats Off! Capitals’ Erik Gustafsson Scores First Career Hat Trick Vs. Maple Leafs

Photo: @Capitals/Twitter

Washington Capitals defensemen Erik Gustafsson scored his first career hat trick Saturday night as the team hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs at Capital One Arena. Gustafsson became the third blueliner in franchise history to score a hat trick.

His first goal of the night marked his first of the season and first as a Capital, which came midway through the opening frame off assists from left-wing Sonny Milano (9) and fellow defensemen John Carlson (12) to make it a 1-0 game.

Gustafsson (2) would pot another just 2:51 into the second period, extending, 3-1, the Capitals’ lead. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov (20) and Milano (11) assisted.

He would complete his first career hat trick at the 3:47 mark of the final frame as Washington held a 5-2 lead. Kuznetsov (21) and center Aliaksei Protas (4) had the helpers.

Caps faithful threw hats celebrating Gustafsson’s first hat trick in his NHL career.

Per Mike VogelGustafsson is the first Capitals defenseman with a regular-season hat trick since Sergei Gonchar vs. Montreal at Capital One Arena on January 4, 2000. Additionally, tonight marked Gustafsson’s second career multi-goal game (also February 2, 2019, at Minnesota as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks).

Gustafsson is just the second defensemen in the NHL to record a hat trick this season (Erik Karlsson: November 1 vs. Anaheim).

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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7 Responses to Hats Off! Capitals’ Erik Gustafsson Scores First Career Hat Trick Vs. Maple Leafs

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good to see Caps upping the d-man pressure in the zone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    TvR also in current scoring spike. Certainly something was said or changed.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. Jonathan says:

    Gustafsson’s best play may have been the goal he helped prevent instead of the one he scored!

    At 10:37 of the 2nd period, Carlson is leading the charge with 3 forwards in the neutral zone when he loses the puck to the Leafs, and gives them a 3 on 1 with Gustafsson the lone guy back. Charging into zone was Giordano with a Leaf on his left and cross ice on his right. Gustafsson slides to prevent the cross ice pass and limits the angle of Giordano’s shot making if much easier save for Lindgren. It was a great defensive play.

    • Jonathan says:

      The wingers for Giordano was Nylander to his left, and Matthews to his right. Gustafsson prevented the pass to Matthews.

  5. hockeydruid says:

    Very impressive especially today with so many D not scoring anything except an assist. Good to see him being in the right place at the right time and following the puck!

  6. dwgie26 says:

    Interesting listening to Lavi presser on Gus. Noted a couple of times, that the offense if there for the defense and good to see the players rewarded with goals. Tells me he wants them to be offensive and create a 5 man game but not really relying on them to score. Help create the offense without being the offense.

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