Assuming Dmitry Orlov will someday have children and grandchildren, there is no doubt the Capitals’ 24-year-old defenseman will tell them about the hidden-puck goal he scored on the night of Nov. 21, 2015.
It happened midway through the third period of a 7-3 rout over the Colorado Avalanche and it left little doubt that the broken wrist that kept him out of the entire 2014-15 season has healed to perfection.
Orlov carried the puck into the offensive zone with a head of steam and tore a page out of Alex Ovechkin’s book by faking a shot and pulling the puck between his legs, leaving Colorado defenseman Nick Holden and forward Carl Soderberg in his wake.
Orlov then sent a shot off the left shoulder of goaltender Calvin Pickard, who thought the puck landed somewhere in his pads. While all 10 players looked around for the puck, Orlov carried it behind the net, juggling it off his chest and down to his skates, backpedaling to the front for an open netter before anyone knew he had it.
“I look around and like everybody can’t see it, so I thought, OK, I have a chance,” Orlov said. “I was scared (the referee) would make a whistle. I can see it’s an empty net, so I wait, wait, wait and then they start moving toward me. It was kind of a funny situation.”
Funny to everyone but the Avalanche, who were being humiliated by the Caps’ onslaught. Four different Caps defensemen scored goals in the rout, but Nate Schmidt admitted Orlov’s was the best.
“That was a beauty,” said Schmidt, who also netted his first of the season. “No one knew where the puck was. Chorns (Taylor Chorney) came off the ice and he was like, ‘I was looking inside the goalie’s pads for it and all of a sudden it’s in the net.”
The goal was Orlov’s first in the NHL since March 2, 2014, a span of more than 20 months. And most of the people in Verizon Center needed a video replay to know what happened.
“I had no clue,” Caps coach Barry Trotz said. “I thought it was in the stands. I had no idea. Everybody was jumping up and the only thing I heard was (assistant coach) Todd Reirden yelling, ‘Stay with it, stay with it, stay with it.’ And Orly put it in the back of the net.”
And now he has video evidence to show his future generations.