The Capitals welcomed the Seattle Kraken to Capital One Arena for the first time on Saturday and delivered a 5-2 victory, their second straight regulation win at home. Alex Ovechkin recorded three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and Conor Sheary scored twice to lead Washington.
Here are some observations from the game.
34 seconds to salvage the start
Seattle was all over the Caps at the start of the game and was dictating the play. A stretch of 34 seconds in the middle of the period erased that, however, as Washington struck twice to take a 2-0 lead.
Alex Ovechkin carried the puck into the offensive zone, but skated his way into trouble as three Kraken players collapsed on him. A trailing Tom Wilson, however, scooped up the puck and cut through the defense, putting in a spectacular backhanded goal as he was getting tripped up. Just 34 seconds later, Dmitry Orlov fired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that beat goalie Chris Driedger 5-hole.
This was a critical point in the game as Seattle would quickly reassert itself and take the game back over. Joonas Donskoi put the Kraken on the board late in the first and Colin Blackwell tied the game at 2 just 58 seconds into the second.
From there, however, Washington took over. Instead of having to chase the game, the score was tied and the Caps took over on the power play.
Power play remains hot
The power play continued its turnaround going a perfect 2-for-2 on the night. Conor Sheary scored off a rebound to give the Capa 3-2 lead in the second period. Ovechkin then delivered the knockout punch of the night with a power-play goal 47 seconds into the third.
After Seattle was able to tie the game at 2, the power play proved to be the difference. Both of Washington's goals on the power play came after the Kraken tied the game allowing the Caps to retake the lead and extend it.
The power play was much-maligned during the team's prolonged slump, but has been hot of late with goals in 10 of their last 13 games including four straight. On Jan. 27, Washington ranked 30th in the NHL on the power play converting at just 13.9%. Since then, the Caps have been producing at 30.2% on the man advantage.
You also have to give credit to the other side of the team's special teams, as the penalty kill went a perfect 3-for 3.
Have the Caps turned things around? After going 8-12-2 to start 2022 including no regulation wins at home, Washington now has two such wins in its last two games. Thursday's win over the Carolina Hurricanes snapped a six-game home losing streak. Now the Caps have won its last two by a combined score of 9-2.
Jagr and Gretzky watch
Ovechkin's goal was his 34th of the season and the 764th of his career. He is now just two goals away from Jaromir Jagr's mark of 766 who sits third all-time. Ovechkin is also 37 goals away from Gordie Howe's 801 and 130 away from Wayne Gretzky's record of 894.