Since getting benched for three games in mid-December, Andre Burakovsky has been one of the Caps’ most productive players.
In 15 games since Coach Barry Trotz sat out the 21-year-old winger, Burakovsky has responded with six goals, including goals in three straight games, and 11 points. In the season’s first 27 games, he amassed two goals and 10 points.
Burakovsky was selected as the first star of Thursday’s 7-3 win in St. Louis, where he also recorded a primary assist on Brett Connolly’s second period strike, which ultimately proved to be the game-winner.
What’s been most impressive about Burakovsky’s recent offensive outburst, though, hasn’t been number of the goals he’s scored, it’s been the timing of them.
In fact, four of Burakovsky’s six goals since the scratching have been the first goal of the game, including the game winner against the Flyers. The Caps earned a point in each of those four games (2-0-2).
Overall, Washington has scored the first goal of the game in each of the last nine contests.
“It’s hard to score in this league, but it’s a lot easier and it’s a lot less draining when you score first,” Coach Barry Trotz told reporters in St. Louis. “You’re not chasing the game.”
Last season, Burakovsky finished with 17 goals and 38 points in 79 games. This season, he’s on pace for 15 goals and 40 points. If he and his linemates stay hot, however, it reasonable to expect him to do a bit better.
MORE CAPITALS: Prediction recap: Caps' offense stays red-hot