Caps dominate Canucks in a 5-1 victory
The Capitals continued their road trip in Vancouver against the Canucks tonight. They turned in a finer overall effort than the previous game and went on to dominate the game in all areas despite being slightly outshot 28 to 32. Alex Ovechkin led the offense with two goals in the first period. The team’s overall dedication to a superior forechecking and puck possession game made the difference. Darcy Kuemper made 31 saves for his eighth win of the season.
At 5:35 in the first period, Ovechkin would start the scoring after forcing a turnover from Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes from behind the net. His point-blank shot gave the Capitals the lead. Several minutes later he took a pass from Dylan Strome and blasted in a slap shot from the left circle for his thirteenth goal of the campaign. This goal would set yet another record in the Capitals captain’s storied career (see notes). Vancouver winger Nils Hoglander would answer for the Canucks at 13:55 after a failed clearing attempt by the Capitals’ defense. Less than a minute later, Marcus Johansson would find Anthony Mantha in the slot area to restore the two-goal lead. The play began with a hit by Lars Eller on Elias Petterson, the penultimate example of the Caps’ success on the forecheck.
The second period would see Vancouver increase its shot total. However, their remaining scoring chances failed to get any results largely due to Washington’s success in keeping the home team out of the middle of the ice. John Carlson would score the lone goal of the period after taking several bats at the puck from in front of the net. The goal, scored at 18:47, is his seventh of the year. Vancouver’s vaunted power play would get three chances, one in each period but failed to convert. Martin Fehervary would close the scoring with an empty net goal at 15:57 of the final period.
NOTES—No Capitals forward was on the ice for more than 16 and a half minutes (Johansson and Eller) nor less than 11 minutes (Aliaksei Protas) for the game. Ovechkin’s second goal gave him the lead for most road goals in a career with 403, passing Wayne Gretzky for the record. Per the official statistics, the Capitals had only one giveaway. Washington continues its road trip in Seattle against the Kraken on Thursday Dec. 1. Start time is 10 PM ET.